The great four days at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Acadamy (WPNSA) started on the 23rd October with the Land Day. Everyone was excited about meeting the coaches and new people, and getting their folders! But maybe not so much to the bleep test! Our Mirror squad started off with it first so we got it out of the way, and it was tough, but it really pushed you hard and got us all ready for the next 3 days of sailing. Finally, after saying goodbye to our parents we had our first dinner as a squad and then headed off to Portland lodge hotel for a bit of rest (yeah right!) before the windy forecast Monday.
The new RYA National Junior Squad had its first outing at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) last weekend. Eight boats have been selected with representatives from Poole, Itchenor, South Staff, Restronguet, Penzance and Otley.
The first day was the land day where the squad got to use the Olympic gym and trained with Paul Goddison. After this there was a series of lectures on food and fitness. This is the first time the national squad has run a residential so all eight boats crews were packed off to Portland lodge for well earned rest.
On Monday the squad was put to its first real test – and what a test. With driving rain and wind gusts of 35 knots our young group of sailors launched themselves – with parents at work but watching through their work PCs through the webcams at WPNSA with open mouths. After some eventful training and racing alongside the Cadets the squad came in for some early lunch and debrief. After lunch the wind continued and the squad managed to get out again under the guidance of Catherine Putt.
Tuesday and Wednesday there was less breeze but after four days of hard training the squad decamped and loaded up ready for the long journey home. Weymouth really is a terrific venue, made for sailing and with with the Olympics there there is a tremendous atmosphere and excitement. Our national squad move to Oxford Sailing Club in a couple of weeks where Catherine will continue to put them through the training. Watch out for the RYA Mirror South and North Zone Squad reports in the next couple of weeks when they start their campaigns for 2012.
Report by Jonathan Davies
Applications can now be made for the Mirror South Zone Squad (applicants from the south west apply for this area), Mirror North Zone Squad and Mirror National Junior Squad.
View information at -
Notice of Selection for the National Junior Squad can be viewed at
and for the South / North Zone Squads at
For those considering applying for the 2011/12 Mirror National Junior Squad please be aware that the registration system is now open. The criteria for application can be viewed at
If anybody is considering the 2011/12 South Mirror Zone Squad the Notice of Selection can be viewed at
General information on the squad system can be viewed at