Twenty-seven enthusiastic members met in the clubhouse to participate in an OOD training evening. The word training probably conjures up the idea of death by view foil followed by a test with pass and fail marks. Nothing could be further from the truth for this event.
David Wilkins, RYA National Race Officer was our guest instructor who had done a lot of homework reviewing our sailing instructions and analysing our lake. David is a long time dinghy sailor and has acted as a race officer at all levels from club racing to the 2012 Olympics and so was well based to advise us. He had done probably more work than the club itself to understand the positioning of our fixed marks and distance between them. This preparatory work will be extended to provide an exact map of the water. Why he had done this became apparent when we discussed timing of the race.
Content of the evening included pre-race preparation to ensure a full team is available, equipment required by the OOD to set a course and start line, best practice for setting a course, timing, flag signals, recording and providing the results. The result of a well run race being fair and enjoyable racing for all.
At one stage we split into four groups and each group was asked to submit their ideal course based on input during the evening with each group given a different wind direction and strength. The whole group then discussed the results and David commented as necessary.
The evening was dynamic and interactive which included the inevitable banter between the participants. I am sure everyone who attended learnt something and as a club we will adopt some of the ideas put to us. It was also an opportunity to ensure those attending were aware of the resources we already have but were not universally known about. In all a worthwhile event.