For the UK 500 class 2016 will be the year of coaching. We have some great coaching events planned, to help new entrants to the class and to help the Brits maintain our winning streak on the international stage!
Our first event will be at the lovely Northampton SC on 9/10 April. There will be training / coaching on Saturday, free camping on site, and informal racing on Sunday. So perfect to dust off the cobwebs, get some top tips, meet other RS500 sailors and discuss rig settings over a beer on Saturday evening!
The National champs will follow on 17-19 June at Lymington. This is a multi fleet RS event, so there will be a great buzz, but the 500s are also having an extra day’s racing on the Friday, and an afternoon of pre – nationals coaching on the Thursday with top coach and current World Champion Peter Barton! So this is perfect to build skills and confidence ahead of joining a first championship, or for seasoned campaigners the chance to get championship ready ahead of the nationals and then the Worlds in Germany. Not only this but we will have Mark Rushall, Olympic coach, along to shoot some footage to make into an RS500 coaching DVD.
Later in the season we will have another training/social/club racing get together at Netley SC. Date TBC, but will include free camping at the club, and the 500s have always enjoyed excellent hospitality at Netley. A great chance for another get together.
Next we have an Autumn championship planned at Gurnard SC on the Isle of Wight on 15/16 October. Only a short hop on the ferry to Cowes, but enough to give a real holiday feeling. The club is great and the Solent sailing is awesome. Well worth the trip.
Finally, a trip to Grafham SC 5/6 November for the End of Season champs will be a chance to round off the season, joining with the other RS classes. Hopefully this will be the chance to show how we have grown as a class.
If that’s not enough event sailing, the vibrant European circuit will include a handful of top events in 2016. Culminating, of course, with the World champs at Travemunde 25-29 July. We hope to field another strong team, to keep the trophy in the UK. And to party as hard as all our international friends!
This year, the theme is – get involved and let’s make the RS500 events really great!
Tim Wilkins, Class Chair