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RYA National Junior Squad camp at WPNSA

RYA National Junior Mirror squad in their red squad jackets

The 2012/13 NJS started their first 4 day residential with the land day at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Acadamy (WPNSA) on Saturday 27th October. After the warm up the whole squad was ready for their fitness test. During the day we completed agility, leg power and arm strength tests. We also did a bleep test which is harder than it sounds but all the effort was worth it because the Mirror fleet proved to be the fittest double handers, beating the Fevas and Cadets.

We finished the day with a psychology and nutrition talk and meeting the squad for the first time. After a hard day’s work we went back to the RYA House with 3 of us staying in Ben Ainslie’s room!

The following we were all excited as it was the first time we had trained together. It was a breezy day so a good opportunity to work on our windy weather confidence, with all of us ending up going for a swim! It was a tiring day but we had perfected our capsize routines. After supper we went bowling with the Cadets to get together as a squad and socialize. The highest score of the night was 104 from Imogen and Midge!

The 3rd day was a little disappointing as we woke up to 30 knots of wind with no change forecast for the rest of the day. We started off with theory and a lot of settings work and after lunch were put into teams and set challenges by Catherine and Alex. Later we reviewed the weather but the wind had picked up. The bad news was that we were not going to go sailing today but the good news was that we were going to Chesil beach! After a soaking blast on the beach we then went back to the club and changed into our teddy bears. After a little more theory we had supper and went back the RYA House for a good night’s sleep.

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It was the last day of the residential and we were ready for an early start to make up for our lack of sailing on Monday. The wind took a change in strength proving to be very light all morning. We had a long morning session practising our light wind mark rounding’s, struggling with speed due to the lack of wind. After lunch we practised our reach to reach gybes as the pressure had filled in. We went on to finish our residential with one competitive race against the Cadet fleet, Mirrors proving to be stronger with four boats in the top five, this was purely due to skill not the size or weight of the boat we were in, although the cadet fleet may not agree.

As soon as we were back on land we were reunited with our parents, and after a swift de-brief and packing away of boats, we said our goodbyes and will all meet again in Northampton for our next squad weekend. Thank you Cath and Alex for coaching us and making the four days so fun and exciting, and thank you also to Linda Keers for being a fantastic house parent!