Last weekend was a weekend to remember with regards to getting all the squads together and eyeing out our future opponents when it comes to the big competitions. It was fun-filled with the squads doing their own work individually in the morning and then coming together in the afternoons for some racing. Also on Sunday morning each squad did some individual fitness however after that, we all came together to do some team games (which the North Squad won all of-I hasten to add).
The wind was light for the majority of the weekend, with us seeing the most of it on the Saturday morning, which was good because we managed to get some decent training in before racing the National Junior Squad in the afternoon. The South squad and the North squad joined together for their training as there were 5 boats from the South Development Squad by Sunday, this was good however because it meant that we had about 18 boats to train with which meant that the practice starts and other activities were busy, meaning that our heads had to be out of the boat to make sure that we avoided all collisions. In the afternoon we joined with the National Squad where we did three races and a crew’s race. The wind was still slight but we did have a few gusts that massively helped you if you managed to reach them first, which made the races much more fun and competitive. The first race saw Rachel and George get a beautiful start and plough off into the distance, with Emma and Ben behind, followed by Eddie and Jamie. The second race saw a little less wind and there were times when the boats nearly stopped moving but because of all our practice the North Squad seemed to like it and we saw some very successful results. Emma and Ben first followed by Eddie and Jamie. Likewise the third race was very light again and the race was much closer this time with a bunch of about 5 or 6 boats battling it out for top spot. Finally the crew’s race was a windward mark and then sail into the jetty, which was won by Harriet Watkins.
On Sunday the wind was much lighter again therefore we spent a lot of time on fitness. Matt Grayson donned his ‘TOUGHEN UP PRINCESS’ top, and we all knew it was getting serious. We had to show these Southerners how to do it seeing as though we had been training all winter for our sit-up routine… and as hoped, of course we did! There was not a bead of sweat to be seen- apart from on Matt surprisingly.
The sailing started at about 11 as we had to wait until the wind filled in, and just as it did, we launched, and then of course, it went again for the training. As a compromise we ended up doing a pumping race which was won by Rachel and George, hmmm….watch out for the jury in Ireland Reg! Thankfully in the afternoon a bit more wind filled in and we managed to get two races done, with all three squads before the wind left again. The first race was rather fluky and the lighter crews seemed to excel however it was anyone’s game as long as the shifts were played right, the top two were Jo and Imogen, then Emma and Ben. The second race was the same if not even lighter and race was just as arduous, with the top two being Tom and Olly first, Jo and Imogen second.
I’d just like to say a big thank you to all the coaches that came to Carsington to help make it such a good weekend, Dave, Catherine, Chris and Alex and also to William for giving us lots of help about how to go about protesting and what to do in the protest room.
Report by Emma Grayson