The Southern Vago Training Day was co-hosted by the UK Vago Association and Tudor Sailing Club on Saturday 14th March. A total of 7 boats were in attendance, 6 Vagos and 1 Buzz, with an even split between visiting sailors and club members.
A few visiting sailors made it down on the Friday evening for the sailing club’s quiz night, where the Vago class formed a crack team named the “Vago’bonds”. Amazingly the team finished a very respectable joint 2nd place, although i suspect the majority of the points could be attributed to our misspent youths, watching TV and listening to music!
Following a good nights rest, the training day kicked off with a good hearty breakfast provided by the TSC galley team. As we filled our bellies, RYA coach and top Vago sailor Ed Deacon started the training, sighting various resources online for developing our techniques. We soon moved outside, where Ed’s own Vago #164 was awaiting on a trailer. Ed took the tuties through a complete rigging exercise, suggesting the easiest ways to stow your boat for trailing – Ed’s ideas on trailing a boat really do make going away to events a breeze! He then moved onto how to set the boat up and check the mast rake, and symmetry and the optimum adjustment for the horse.
The attentive students moved to their own vessels to check the measurements and set-up their boats correctly. Ed then passed his expert eye, reviewing the boats and tuning them equally. This paid dividends when we took to the water, as all boats sailed without any rigging dramas and were performing on an even keel. Ed then provided a trapezing demonstration for those who were new to the wire.
The sailors soon took to the water for the morning session, with a strong north-easterly breeze providing the perfect conditions for trapeze sailing and fast asymmetric blasts. The fleet sailed down the narrow channel (as it was low water) to the southern end of Langstone Harbour where a nice playground awaited them. The first drill was to sail on a simple windward leeward course so Ed could gauge our abilities – this proved increasingly frustrating for the fleet, as the joy of blasting off downwind with the kites flying with a disregard to the course was all too tempting!! He slowly reigned us all in, although i am sure he would be issuing detentions for us all if we were in a classroom. The drills changed to follow my leader exercises, before finishing in a close circling of the Sword Sands buoy. After about an hour on the water the sailors returned to the clubhouse for a well earned warm up a hot lunch.
Following lunch Ed held a debrief from the morning session with performance tips for everyone. The fleet then headed back out for the afternoon to put these into action and do some more on the water practice, with several helms and crew swapping end or boats to mix it up. Those that usually sail single handed were encouraged to take a crew but for the crew to sit in the centre of the boat and move only when essential so that they could practice single handing but with the reassurance of some extra ballast should it be needed in a hurry. The weather for the afternoon had got bit windier with gusts coming through that caught quite a few out and several helms were seen to be ‘resting’ on their centreboards.
A simple course between two buoys was set but for some this was lost in translation and for others keeping upright and having a bit of fun was of more importance. Soon the call of tea and cake for some took over and cold and wet sailors started returning to the slip with the hardy few sticking it out for around 2 hours. Once all the boats were back Ed did a final debrief whilst the sailors warmed up with hot drinks and topped up their energy levels with cake. In the evening as per Vago tradition the fleet headed down into Southsea for a well earned curry and a chat about who had what aches and pains.
The fleet had planned to sail on Sunday but the day dawned cold and windy and in the end keeping warm and dry was decided to be preferable.
Thanks go to Richard & Hannah Barnes for organising the venue on the food and to the patrol boat volunteers who were kept busy Thank you also to Ed Deacon for travelling down to coach for the weekend, all the sailors found it a useful day. A special mention should also go out to Moira who excelled on the trapeze and went out in a Buzz with no fear having never trapezed before.
More photos from the event can be seen here: VAGO FLICKR GROUP