Improving people’s sailing skills is so rewarding and non-more so than coaching club sailors around Chichester Harbour. Race training lessons for the Chichester Scows at Bosham SC and Removing Rust for RS Tera’s youth sailors at Hayling Island Sailing Club was great fun this Spring. As the height of summer fast approaches the thought of sailing in lush sea breezes and warm waters around the south coast is very inviting… well let’s hope so. It’s been a busy sailing season so far around Chichester Harbour with so many sailors taking to the water despite the mixture of weather thrown at us. David Allen sailing his Solo, pictured above, took advantage of a lesson on a stunning day in June.

Chichester Scows
The Chichester Scow fleet at Bosham SC teamed up with Melvyn Cooper Sailing for a race coaching programme in the Spring. Eighteen Scow sailors trained across seven sessions in April and May this year. The coaching covered a wide variety of racing subjects focusing on Bosham Sailing Club’s race area. Key subjects included the start line at Bosham Quay incorporating wind direction and tides and points of sailing to the first mark. Starting a club race off the static line is a big factor and can make a difference to pulling away from the fleet. Topics ashore covered setting up Individual boats, reefing the Scow sail, using tell tales, getting out of irons and mark rounding. Sailing exercises afloat were aimed at boat handling and tactics including slow speed control, acceleration, fast tacking and tactical sailing close-hauled.

Youth Training Week
Youth Training Week is staged each year over 4 days at Hayling Island Sailing Club.This year over the summer half term 28th – 31st June 21013 eighty children learned new sailing skills from beginners in Optimists to challenging race training in RS Tera’s across a range of 12 groups. The RS Tera single-handed youth boat excelled in numbers this year with over 50 sailors taking part. Twelve RS Tera sailors trained under the watchful eye of RYA Race coaches Melvyn Cooper and Holly Watson ran a comprehensive race training programme. Lots of well-tested RYA exercises out on the water covered essential racing skills including how to win a start, holding station accurately, roll tacking efficiently, upwind race tactics, kiting and mark rounding at the leeward mark. During the week digital images and white board workshops focused on racing rules and boat on boat tactics. Daily prizes were presented for star sailors.

Glamour sailing
In June 2013 David Allen booked a sailing lesson in his single-handed Solo with Melvyn coaching from his RIB. The sailing conditions were ideal to help David improve his racing skills and work on existing techniques throughout the day. Often overlooked is how you sit in the boat and control the rig upwind and downwind. Working on controlling slow boat speed and stopping the boat develops boat handling skills in close quarters on the start line. Pulling in the main sheet using the crab claw system combined with tacking upwind efficiently gains confidence and masses of speed at anytime. After the coaching David competed in the club race the same evening. “It was close racing and I knew it was touch and go at the finish line but I thought they had pushed me out. When I saw your email with the my position I immediately went to the clubs website to check you hadn’t forged the result!. There is no doubt that this result is entirely due to your coaching that day”

RS Tera Rust Remover
The annual RS Tera Rust Remover day was staged on Saturday 20th April and what a superb day of weather. A warm force 3 breeze greeted 14 RS Tera sailors at Hayling Island Sailing Club for their first sail of the year after winter hibernation. This was a perfect opportunity to brush up on boat handling skills and techniques in preparation for HISC youth racing. RYA Race Coach Melvyn Cooper and RYA Instructor Sophie Andrews split the sailors into two groups to practice racing skills including line starts, close hauled and tacking upwind, kiting and mark rounding. The day concluded with a mini race series using a windward / leeward course. Nigel Pyke said: “My daughter had a wonderful day and it certainly gave her confidence to go back out on the water. She came home very pleased with herself having taken part in some racing for the very first time.” Paul Knight added “ A great day, perfect planning, perfect weather and for my daughter it was a huge confidence boost. Not only has she removed the rust, but she has started to race”

RS Venture Days
What better way of enjoying a family lesson than in the comfort of the new RS Venture. Members of Hayling Island Sailing Club can hire the boat on a full day basis and discover the many secrets of Chichester Harbour. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bosham, Itchenor, Emsworth and Dell Quay are all accessible at high tide. The RS Venture is equipped with an anchor and so is perfect for a picnic on East Head beach and even allows time for the family to explore East Head’s many sand dunes.
For more details of how MCS can get things started for you please email Melvyn Cooper Sailing

Try a sailing lesson
Late summer and autumn can be some of the best sailing of the year especially as the water is warm. Melvyn Cooper Sailing will help you develop new and existing sailing skills for people of all ages. Why not try a sailing lesson and see what a different it can make to your sailing. Douglas Dunlop wrote: “Your patience with the kids was superb and they all want to come sailing again, which is the result I was looking for. The kids are still ‘discussing’ as to which bit of the boat the wind blows from on a broad reach and run!”