A hardy group of 12 sailors gathered at the second Winter Race Training on Sunday, in a bracing (though short lived) Force 3, from the East.
We briefed then headed out into a pleasant breeze, though slightly overcast. The session began with a simple windward/leeward exercise, focussing on the upwind leg, and keeping in mind the 3 key aims, designed to help us maintain speed and our position on the upwind leg;
About half an hour in, the breeze died completely. Luckily we'd managed to get in some great coaching before this and were already seeing improvements in sailing!
The breeze began to fill back in shortly after, though it was swinging from SE to SW, with no more than 5 knots. When the breeze eventually settled in the SE, the course was relaid and a start attempted, only for the wind to die completely about 30 seconds after the gun! Shortly after this, the decision was made to head back in and debrief on the beach!
While the session wasn't ideal - wholly due to the lack of breeze - there were still valuable lessons learned and everyone improved!
Thanks to everyone for coming down and to Robbie and Steven for their expertise. We look forward to seeing you again on the 13th December!
RYA Scotland Topper Academy at ELYC
If you are a cadet member and sail a topper this is a fantastic opportunity to receive excellent training!
The RYA Scotland Class Academies are designed to support sailors of all levels and ages along their sailing journey. In a non-covid scenario there would be 6 training sessions delivered over the winter by their expert coaches focusing on racing skill development, supporting sailors both new to racing and those involved in further performance programme teams. The programme brings sailors together from all over the country within an environment that offers challenge, fun and friendship but most importantly time on the water all year round.
Due to the situation we are now in, RYA Scotland are trying to reach as many clubs as they can and run a series of single sessions for club-based sailors over consecutive weeks across October. The idea being to keep sailors local to their club. These sessions will be class specific and lead by experienced RYA Scotland coaches for sailors of all abilities.
We are delighted to announce a Topper Academy consisting of 3 sessions will be run at ELYC, for members only, on the following dates:
4th October 2020 12pm to 4pm
11th October 2020 9am to 1pm
18th October 2020 12pm to 4pm
If you are a cadet member and sail a topper this is a fantastic opportunity to receive excellent training from experienced Topper Academy coaches. As said above, this is for all levels. The cost of the Academy is £60 for the series. Club toppers will be available to hire at a cost of £10 for the series.
If you would like to take part, please register. Please note by booking you are registering for all 3 sessions. You do not pay at this point, except if hiring a club boat. Further instructions regarding the event and payment will be issued once registered.
I am happy to let you all know that we will once again be running Winter Race Training this year, albeit with some changes. The on the water element of the training will be largely similar to previous years, focussing on one element per session and consolidating this through races.
The shore based elements have invariably taken a knock due to COVID. Details for this are still being finalised, but will be circulated upon booking. It is likely that the safety briefing will be a virtual one, with finer details being covered on the day. This reduces any need for unnecessary time spent ashore and as such helps us maintain our COVID security.
The dates for race training are as follows:
All sessions run from 9am -1pm with the exception of 11 October which will run from 2pm-5pm.
Booking for these sessions will open on the Monday before the event is due to take place.
Club boats will be available to hire: 4 Club Toppers, 4 Zests and 2 Club 2ks.
In addition to needing a keen group of sailors, we also need volunteers to help this event run! If you can volunteer, please do so on Dutyman.
Although the club is closed at the moment, we just wanted to let you know about an exciting new initiative we will be launching as soon as we are back sailing......
ELYC Race Squad
This squad will be open to cadet members who have progressed from Go Racing and who show:
The aim of the squad will be to:
Entry will be by application and selection. The selection dates will be announced as soon as the club opens and sailing re starts.
The squad will be restricted to a maximum of six (minimum of four) sailors meeting monthly on a Sunday for a full day's coaching by one of our members, Sam Grimshaw. Sam is a qualified RYA Race Coach and as a youth sailor was a member of a Zone Squad and competed at national and international events. Sam will also support the team at away events.
Membership of the squad will be under frequent review with the possibility to join through the year. For cadet members that don't make the squad at first there will be ample opportunity for continued development through our involvement with RYAS Development and Performance team.
The RYAS Development and Performance team fully support our initiative which is in line with their vision for youth racing and have agreed to supply additional coaches if required.
All applications are welcome and will be considered from cadets who have completed one year of Go Racing (or equivalent). Any interested cadets should complete the application from and return by 7th June 2020. We will hold an information evening as soon as the club opens but if you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
ELYC Race Squad Application Form
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Huge congratulations from everyone at ELYC to Roo Purves, who has been awarded the Class Academy Sailor of the Year award by RYA Scotland.
Roo is one of a selection of talented young sailors who have risen through the ranks in East Lothian Yacht Club's excellent sailing curriculum, which includes everything from entry level basics to a variety of coached racing sessions which provide a gateway to full on Club racing and beyond.
Roo was able to share his thoughts in a short interview.
“Amazing and quite a big surprise when my name was called out, I was quite shocked.”
“It was really cool to see my coach Robyn (Phillips) also win an award on the night.”
“It’s amazing, Topper’s are the best boats to start out in and I beat my dad for the first time last week in a club race, which was cool.”
On the 17th, 18th and 19th of April, 7 Assistant Instructor hopefuls set out on their journey to becoming certified as RYA AIs.
Three Senior Instructors; Jon Shaw, Matt Gibbons and Will Derries ran the course, helped out by Ben Wilcox (Training Principal), Iona Robson and Lizzie Farmer (Child Protection Officer), drawing on shared and individual experiences and skill-sets to give our candidates as solid footing in the training world as is possible.
The two and a half days started out with a breaking swell in the fairway on the Wednesday evening, and the decision was taken to keep our candidates ashore - though a few intrepid club racers did venture out. Nevertheless, a productive session was had on shore, covering rigging and reefing a 2000. We then went into the classroom and had a group discussion about what a good Assistant Instructor should possess.
Thursday dawned, and we were straight into the classroom. We had a session on hopes and fears of the group, as well as good qualities and skills for an Assistant Instructor to have, we had a site tour to familiarise the candidates with passcodes, stores and SOPs. We were then back into the classroom for a very interesting learning styles (VARK) talk, delivered by Jon. Once again, we escaped the classroom and covered RYA method land drills. We then all disappeared for lunch and reconvened after we'd taken on some nutrition. The afternoon was set to be a tad sporty, with a building easterly and substantial swell. We went out reefed, and the group did a triangle adhering to the 5 Essentials, as well as some boats carrying out MOB excersizes - a vital skill. We then carried out the RYA Scoop capsize drill - Will volunteered for this one, much to his dismay.
Thursday evening entailed mid-course debriefs from Ben and Will, along with a chat about Child Protection (Delivered by Lizzie Farmer) and a brief talk on professionalism.
Friday dawned and we were into the last day of this brilliant course. The candidates delivered one short theory session each, and the standard of these was exceptional. All demonstrated Dinghy Instructor level knowledge and technique - needless to say the instructors were all very impressed. We then went for lunch and the club was bustling due to the RYA filming our Good Friday sailing. We were straight on the water after lunch, making use of the filling bay we perfected our tacking and gybing, did backwards sailing, as well as rudderless sailing.
We then headed out toward Craigleith, practising MOB and speed control using a follow-my-leader. Jon went for a swim, Will sailed Jons boat. Both enjoyed themselves.
Friday evening entailed a chat about expectations from each other as instructors, as well as expanding on professionalism. We then presented the 7 new Assistant Instructors with their certificates and went home!
Safe to say - the future of ELYC training is in safe hands. Well done Milla, Rosie, Josh, Sam, Emily, Grace and Rebecca! We look forward to working with you!
The club is running a powerboat level 2 course on the 13/14th April. This is an internationally recognised qualification and is required to drive our club RIBS. Our next powerboat courses will run in July.
For further information and to sign up, please click on the following link: https://elyc.org.uk/event-3213102
The club will be running another first aid course on Sunday 24th March. To sign up please click here to go to the event page.
Congratulations to Iain McGonigal for winning the RYA Scotland Coach of the year Award! Iain has put in a huge amount of time and effort running our successful Go Racing sessions over the past number of years and has helped many sailors to gain more experience and confidence to get them racing. In his speech at the RYA Scotland Annual Awards he thanked the club and the Go Racing team, including Nick, Steve and Angus, for making Go Racing such a success!
Iain started sailing in keelboats (with Gerry Hughes if we remember correctly) after he got his first teaching job at North Berwick High School in 1981. Over the past 15 years, Iain has volunteered his time to run the Go Racing novice coaching evenings. Taking place generally over 16 weeks in the main sailing season from May to August, he has been able to bring new sailors on from ‘beginners’ to competent racers who give the club racers a run for their money. He is a fantastic coach who takes the time to get to know each of the participants and help work with them on and off the water.
Iain commented. “The programme, called Go Racing, which we run at ELYC is very much a team effort. I simply enjoy attempting to pass on the fun and enjoyment I get out of dinghy sailing, particularly racing. The club has long acknowledged that it is getting harder to encourage our novice sailors, youth or adult, to make the step from learning to sail to joining the main club racing programme. Our 'Go Racing' midweek programme simply gets relative novices or less-confident sailors out on the water and aims to teach the basics of racing while improving their sailing skills and experience in a less frenetic environment that the club fleet startline!”
Well done to Alastair Macintyre, Will Derries, Ben Wilcox and the club for being shortlisted for other awards! We have all enjoyed a fantastic evening in Inverkip.
To find out more about becoming a race coach or simply developing your coaching skills visit:
Our first adult learn to sail course of 2019 will run over two weekends in May! To sign up and for further information, please check out our adult learn to sail page in our training section.
East Lothian Yacht Club | 36-40 Victoria Road | The Harbour | North Berwick | East Lothian | EH39 4JL