With the 29er the equipment for the Two Person events at this year's Youth Worlds in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, the camp was the perfect opportunity for the Canadians teams of Nicholas KROGER and Peter SOOSALU and Alanna FOSCARINI and Alison LUDZKI to brush up on their boat handling skills.
National team member, head coach and camp organizer, Tyler BJORN, selected the following coaches: Matt DUBREUCQ, Canadian World Youth Coach; Marc FARMER and Trevor PAREKH, 2005 Canada Games gold medallists; Marc LITTEE, Canadian Sailing Team (CST) skiff coach and Amy GOMAN Ontario Sailing Association (OSA) head coach.
While waiting for breeze on day one, the coaches wasted no time in getting the athletes prepared for what was to be four days of very intense training. The morning began with a concentrated physical training session, led by BJORN. This was followed by onshore boat handling drills with the boats in their cradles, also known as the shore drill, where athletes practice manoeuvres on dry land. The afternoon saw a 2-hour water session that ended with the sailors removing their rudders to learn the effects of body positioning on the 29er. The evening saw one of Canada's most respected sports psychologists, Dr Wayne HALLIWELL, give a talk to the young athletes.
The breeze cooperated well on Friday with winds touching 15 knots. The emphasis of the day was on boat handling and manoeuvres. Drills were short and concentrated, with some racing mixed in. Having a handful of races at the end the day allowed the sailors to illustrate the skills they had learned. Once upon shore, sailors were greeted by Montreal Alouettes O-Lineman, Paul LAMBERT, who gave a talk about his career and what it took for him to become a professional football player.
Saturday saw the addition of four more boats to bring the total to ten. The focus of the camp moved from basic boat handling into racing specific skills, like starting and holding lanes. Split into two groups, sailors put in another 5 hours on the water, being coached by the best in Canada.
Sunday definitely provided the shifty breeze and it was testing. The focus was on racing and racing specific skills. With big gusts and big shifts, there were plenty of gains to be made for the most alert sailors. Coach FARMER proved that even the heavier crews, if smart enough tactically, can come out ahead. The sailors were split in the morning, but again rejoined for some starts and short races. Alas, things had to end, as the athletes returned to shore to debrief, de-rig and depart.
The 2007 camp was a complete success with thanks going to coaches and participants. The turnout was slightly lower than the previous year, but that just made it all the better for the young, aspiring athletes that were present, getting plenty of one on one coaching throughout the four day camp. The 2008 camp will take place from 8-11 May at Lord Reading Yacht Club (LRYC).
The organizers would like to thank LRYC, CYA, OSA, PS2000, EB Spars for their support and contributions to the Camp.
For all the latest news from the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship CLICK HERE.