Fleet Building with Clinics

 There have been three Clinics so far this past fall and winter and I have had the opportunity to attend two of them.  Fleet 1 started the clinic season with the ever popular Ullman B Clinic and Regatta, followed by the Fleet 21 Christmas Clinic and Regatta and yesterday the start of a three clinic series at Fleet 6.

The Ullman B Clinic is hosted by Balboa Yacht Club and featured onshore and and the water instruction by John Papadopoulos who has run this event for as long as I have been in the Lido Class.  While I have never been able to attend this event, it attracts a very good turnout each year.  The Fleet 21 Christmas Clinic and Regatta featured Eric Heim of Quantum Sails and it consisted of an on the dock chalk talk by Eric, questions and answers from the eager attendees and between racing coaching tips.  The Fleet 6 Clinic series is ambitious with three day long sessions space a month apart focusing on boat handling, the Racing Rules and Tactics.  The Saturday clinic featured a chalk talk and on the water coaching by Mark Ryan, video analysis of each team's manuevers and some informal racing to end a cool, beautiful SoCal day.

At each of these events, eager to learn Lido Sailors meet others in the same boat, start new friendships, it improve their skills and gain valuable time on the water in relaxed environments.  Generally, the attendees leave eager to attend the next available event and build on their new skills.  Other than Lido style fun a couple of coaching themes keep coming up.  things this author has heard before but certainly is better off for hearing them again and in different ways.  Boat balance and neutralizing the helm stand out.  Balancing the boat fore and aft, side to to side and using sail trim and centerboard adjustments along with crew weight and position seems to be the biggest "go fast" priority of the folks I can't keep up with.  Simply, if the boat is balanced it will be relatively fast and the skipper is relaxed and can focus his or her eyes outside the boat.  How did these guys get to this point?  Listening to others, reading and rereading various publications and media they can relate to and lots of time on the water.  References available on this website include both the Ullman and Quantum tuning guides (download and read both), trailering tips and check the Library section for By-Laws, Measurement Certificates, Approved Changes and more.

Practice days, work on the boat days, trailer fix up days and clinics are great ways help your Fleet improve, spend time with friends, make new friends and, as a result, have more fun in the upcoming season.  Here's a thirteen photo slideshow of the Fleet 6 January 12 Clinic and the 2012 Ullman B Clinic.

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