Team Fiji comprised 6 girls, 8 boys and 1 coach, whilst in the Optimists there were 3 girls and 5 boys. In addition 12 National Judges, 2 of which were women and 5 Race Committee received training.
The course was conducted by course expert Ralph Roberts from New Zealand. Ralph is an ISAF International Judge, he competed at the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games and is a past president of Yachting New Zealand.
The course took place in Laucala Bay near the old Flying Boat Base. The Fijian Yachting Association is just finishing their new small boat haul-out area for the South Pacific Games here.
The National Judges training started with how to find your way through the RRS if you were on a protest panel. How to strive for consistent and uniform application of the rules, their interpretation and how to maintain the necessary temperament to be a fair to both parties in a hearing.
This was best demonstrated by using open protest hearings as examples. The qualities needed in a judge are care, fairness, objectivity and most of all without prejudice.
The course started at 8am each day with 3 hours of Part 2 rules and tactics associated. On the water training from 11am till 3pm included:
- Practising Starts;
- Learning to Plan a race;
- How to prepare their boat for the conditions of the day;
- How to select the position of their boat coming into the start;
- Improving tacking; getting boat balance before and while jibing;
- Keeping boats balanced and flat at all times;
- Reaching, running away by the lee on the puffs;
- Avoiding body movement up and down wind with RRS 42 in mind;
- Getting the sailors out of their boats to watch how others were sailing to get them to realise how to improve their performance on the water.
Social activities included a Welcome to Fiji by Dennis Miller Director Fiji ASNOC, Cocktail Party at Royal Suva Yacht Club and a Working Dinner for the Judges provided by the FYA at Homestay Lodge.
The training will hopefully be put to good use at the forthcoming South Pacific Games.