Brian Shaw, Chair of the Castle Cove Sailing Club 2012 Strategy Group, says this year's Training Camps proved to be a great success for both the club and the teams who attended.
"Our Pre-Games Training Camp is a partnership between Castle Cove Sailing Club and Weymouth College and together we offer all the sailing facilities a visiting team could need," says Shaw. "The Club is situated on Portland Harbour, allowing teams to launch into and practice on the race waters that will be used in London 2012, providing direct access to the unique local tide and wind conditions.
"This year we had sailors training at the Club for both the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships and the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta for the Olympic sailing classes. The sailors regularly used the excellent Weymouth College Gymnasium. Sailors from 11 different countries were able to store their boats and boards on the boat park at Castle Cove, giving them direct access to the waters of Portland Harbour and onwards to Weymouth Bay. Moorings for the coaches' ribs were also provided.
"The sailors used the Clubhouse for early morning briefings and after-training de-briefings, sharing their 'GPS outputs' and for social relaxation amongst themselves and with Club Members. After Club racing on Monday and Wednesday nights, sailors from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain and Sweden enjoyed Club suppers with members. Free wi-fi access enabled them to keep in touch with families, friends and businesses. This 'home from home' atmosphere was exactly what the teams said they wanted, coupled with intensive training on the water. Each day volunteer members of the club acted as stewards, available to help and give advice, thus reinforcing the club atmosphere within the Training Camp.
"Every morning all the visiting sailors went out to train and to race against one another to hone their skills and learn about the on-the-water conditions - wind, tide, currents, etc. It is gratifying to report that many of the sailors who trained at Castle Cove achieved outstanding results in the world-class regattas held in August and September this year. Marina Alabau (ESP) became Women's RS:X World Champion, with Blanca Manchon (ESP) coming second in the Worlds and then Gold medallist in the RS:X class at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta. Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) gained bronze in the RS:X class at the same regatta. In the Men's RS:X Class of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Ricardo Santos (BRA) won gold, Julien Bontemps (FRA) silver, and João Rodrigues (POR) bronze. When being presented with his gold medal, Ricardo Santos said that he "had found Weymouth people very friendly and that his 50 hours of training [at Castle Cove] had really paid off"."
"The Swedish dinghy team of two Finns, 16 Lasers, six 470s and one 49er had an area of the dinghy park designated for their use, which they said they appreciated greatly, as did the RS:X windsurfers having their area carpeted to prevent damage to their sails when rigging and de-rigging."
Shaws concludes, "It was very exciting for club members, especially the Cadets, to have such a group of international sailors using the club and acting as an accelerator for site developments which will leave a legacy for the club and for the facilities within Weymouth and Portland as a whole."
More details on the Pre-Games Training Camps for sailing, including links to the venues, booking information and details on the Financial Award can be found via the link below:
Find out more about the London Olympic Games and the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition at www.sailing.org/london2012.