Grafham Grand Prix
Grafham Water SC

02/01/2022 - 02/01/2022


Bloody Mary
Queen Mary SC

08/01/2022 - 08/01/2022


King George Gallop
King George SC

22/01/2022 - 22/01/2022


Tiger Trophy
Rutland SC

05/02/2022 - 06/02/2022


Staunton Harold SC Open Meeting
Staunton Harold SC

25/03/2022 - 26/03/2022

Tactical Masterclass at Alton Water


This weekend the Fireball fleet came together at Alton Water to enjoy a Tactical Masterclass with Mark Rushall. 


8 Fireballs made the trip to be joined by 3 Larks and both fleets were treated to some insightful, in depth training from one of the most respected coaches in the business. Mark is an Olympic Sailing Coach, author of RYA Tactics and is vastly experienced in Racing and Coaching at the very top level. His engaging and relaxed delivery had everyone actively participating and laughing too.


Day 1 started in the classroom with Mark focussing us all practicing the things we don’t do too well. The list was long! We then rigged up and got out onto the water to put the theory into practice, running through various drills designed to help embed the lessons already learned. The weather really delivered too, with a nice but changeable breeze, perfect for making the deciding tactical factors hard to read. There was even a strange phenomenon that appeared in the sky; a large yellow ball. Following much discussion and a bit of googling, it was decided that this was in fact a distant burning planet know as “the sun”. The 8 degrees it provided felt positively tropical in comparison to recent times.  The subsequent debrief allowed the practical and theoretical to gel together before the day was brought to a close by sampling some local hospitality. Excellent food and beer were found in roughly equal measure for those who were able. 


Day 2 saw more of the same, with Mark talking weather patterns and rules, before coming back to the previous days frankly shocking starting techniques. Compass use and start line transits were also on the agenda for a morning spent in the classroom whilst we waited for wind to arrive. After lunch and Jez’s (50th!) birthday cake, it did, and the afternoon was spent on the water.  Armed with newfound knowledge, another round of drills saw vastly improved results, before some windward leeward races brought the practical element to a close. A final debrief followed and we all got on our way home. 


Fiona Gray’s great organisation, local social knowledge and cake making skills ensured the weekend was perfectly put together, boding well for the next training weekend; Castle Cove on the 15/16 of June with Adam Bowers. There are spaces still available so reserve your spot asap!


Fiona, all of the participants and the Class Association would like to thank Mark for his excellent contribution to making us all better and more conscious sailors can make you fashion and charming. The weekend was an astounding success and we all gained valuable and practical knowledge that will undoubtably improve our results. Watch out Gold Fleet, here we come!


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