Datchet FF Training and Coaching Day…..!!

You don’t have to get an RYA Coach to run coaching day for you!!  At Datchet the local Fleet Heroes, John Hanson and Helen Selden, ran a superb coaching day for the home fleet. The format was simple – kick off in the Commodore’s Room gathering everybody’s interests and requirements, then outside but onshore in the morning and afloat with video in the afternoon. Plus everyone had a lot of fun and escaped the Royal Wedding !!

Story and photos by Trevor Sparrow….

Datchet Bear “DW” had decided not to go to Royal Wedding because one of the guardsmen was wearing his auntie Pauline as a hat. So he went to the Flying Fifteen training day to see what happens. It was a hot windless day, just like every training day.


DW met the people who sail the Flying Fifteens. They are very nice people.

This is John Hanson who was running the training day . John’s boat goes very fast because he has a lady called Helen who crews for him. Helen is so secret we could not show her picture

The day started with everyone saying what they wanted to learn. Then we all went down (note Usain Bolt pose from John)

to the beach where two Flying Fifteens had been rigged while still on their trailers. One had the new jib and the other had the old style jib. By moving the boats around relative to the wind direction it was possible to walk around the boat and see the impact of small tweaks on the shape of the sails.

DW was interested to see how small changes in the outhaul can have a big impact on the shape of the slot between the jib and the main.


John explained how important it was to keep the jib sheeted down close to the foredeck so that pressure did not escape








DW  looked at the car position for the new jib and saw that it is much more inboard than before. It seems that the new jib is easier to set and requires less effort in heavier wind strengths

The next session looked at how to best set pole height for the spinnaker





























Then everybody went and discussed what they had learned.

The next session was on the water. Boats were filmed from a rib as they performed various tasks such as tacking. In the feedback session afterwards it was possible to talk through the good and bad points of what people had done. DW noticed that people liked to bump into Mervyn’s boat .


So what did DW think of the training day? He liked it because it was friendly, with everyone wanting to help each other. He learned lots of things to try and make his boat go faster. He thinks it would be a grand day out for any flying fifteen sailors, whether novice or skillful, to improve on their sailing. They should watch out for the next one.


Here are some pictures of the flying fifteen sailors, say hello when you see them…especially if you would like to sail a flying fifteen.

(Photo of Trevor praying for Breeze)

















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