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Virtual Sailing during Landlocked Lockdown

From one of the Oppie Sailors Parents of a club coaching session Hugh has done recently.

Lockdown has let us all learn new skills, in particular sailors who all found themselves landlocked, some for the first time ever!

Our young sailor age 7 was lucky, his friends who are all part of Hayling Island Sailing Club’s Optimist dinghy team, decided to carry on racing online. Using the Virtual Regatta App, he raced against 20 of his team mates twice a week.

The Team Captain even provided Olympic level coaching with top UK Coach, Hugh Styles, providing 2 hours of intense excitement every Thursday evening. Hugh coaches the young racers round the courses and debriefs everyone after the race series. Sunday evenings are dedicated to building a series, 5 races with overall results creates some healthy competition!

Not only is Virtual Regatta a unique teaching aid, these sailor sessions also gave children aged 7-13 a chance to socialise and engage with people their own age with a shared passion.

This was the first time that the younger sailors were able to physically see, for the first time, a start line, a lay line, to understand what your options are when you approach a boat on starboard and many of the other backbone elements of the fabulous world of yachting.

Our young sailor found the experience so helpful, “when I sailed again for the first time after Lockdown I could understand a course so much better and make decisions afloat faster”.

Thankfully the sailing world is now allowed back afloat but racing is still not permitted! Virtual racing is continuing and is now a key addition to learning how to race on a global scale.

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