To the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy– – with Martin and Jon to learn windsurfing and Laser dinghy sailing at the Olympic venue.
We started our windsurfing training on the simulator under the watchful eyes of Tris our coach for the day. After about ½ hour we got on to the water and, contrary to expectation, we were almost immediately able to stand on the board and actually windsurf. Turns out that, thanks to new board and sail technology, it’s very easy to stand on the board and to haul the sail out of the water if you do fall in. The latter being something I put to the test on numerous occasions… (see my video below for the damning evidence)
The odd fall apart, windsurfing’s great so give it a go and, if you’re anywhere near Weymouth/ Portland, then you can learn on the Olympic waters with Tris. Follow the link here to find out more: http://uk.otc-windsurf.com/
After the windsurfing Tris introduced us to Paul Goodison, our reigning Olympic champion and no 1 ranked sailor in the Laser class. He was good enough to give Gold Challengers an insight into his sport which you can see in the video at the bottom of this blog.
Having been inspired by Paul, we then went out into Portlandharbour for our own Laser coaching. The harbour’s a huge space and protected by breakwaters on which there are (now disused) forts. It’s also where all the Olympic sailing will take place – though probably at slightly greater pace then we managed due to a sudden drop in the wind (and our rudimentary skills..). Despite the calm conditions we still managed the classic swinging boom on head mishap as we steered a little over-enthusiastically into the wind….
All in all, an excellent day and fantastic both to see the Olympic venue and to know that it’s open to everyone to use.