'Now it's up to us to go out there and try our hardest to benefit from all this good coaching,' said Adam ROBERTS, member of US SAILING's 2005 US Youth World Team. ROBERTS will be aiming to put all the advice into practice in a couple of months in the 420 boys class at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005 in Korea.
And good advice it surely was with 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Kevin BURNHAM (USA) and silver medallists, Charlie OGLETREE (USA) - also the new number one in the Tornado in the latest ISAF World Sailing Rankings - and Lenka SMIDOVA (CZE) amongst the 21 instructors.
The total enrollment was a record and included about one-third girls. Selected on the basis of their sailing résumés, they ranged in age from 13-19 and came from 13 states in every corner of the country, plus Hawaii and one girl from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Over four days and nights, a staff of 21 coaches with world-class credentials, including the three 2004 Olympic medallists above and four other participants in Athens, drilled them in classroom clinics ashore and sailing drills afloat in six classes of single- and double-handed boats.
BURNHAM, an Olympic gold medalist in the 470 with Paul FOERSTER (USA), from Miami Beach, amused the group one evening with a slide sequence of his victorious back flip at the finish line in Greece but also told a class the next morning, 'Overtrimming the jib is really slow.'
Bill HARDESTY of San Diego, one of only two five-time collegiate all-Americans, offered this wisdom: 'Good tactics are not having bad tactics.'
SMIDOVA, a silver medalist in the Europe from the Czech Republic, said, 'I've never experienced anything this big. In my country, we have grants from the government for the best sailors and they do this more times in a year but in much smaller groups.'
Unlike other nations, the USA has no federally supported assistance programmes for it's amateur sportsmen or for the development of young talent. California International Sailing Association (CISA), a 501(c)3 organization, relies on contributions of corporations and individuals to provide support of amateur sailors. Because it is non-profit and tax-exempt, all contributions are tax deductible.
CISA, founded in 1971, supports amateur sailors by providing travel grants for regional, national and international competition and funds local sailing programs and racing clinics.
ROBERTS said he owes his budding success to CISA.: 'Four years ago I started off here at the very bottom with my friend Parker SHINN. We were so young we had no idea what we were doing. We've come a long way. Without the support of CISA, with the coaches, funding, this clinic - no way it would have happened.'
The final day of the clinic was devoted to racing when the students could practice what their elite coaches had preached and ROBERTS seemed to have learnt well, taking victory in the 420 with Nick MARTIN.