NYC

 

TY Coaching at Sail Coach

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Conor Gleeson, Patrick Young, Sian Kneafsey and myself all went to Sail Coach this year as part of the club’s Transition Year sailing programme. We flew into Nice airport on Monday 28th Feb . We were met there by one of the club coaches Ben Lynch who was working with Sail Coach and had agreed to come and pick us up. After a two hour car journey we reached the exotic island of Les Embiez, owned by Paul Ricard. We were then greeted by our soon to be coach and showed our lodgings. He told  us that we would soon be joined by two top notch Russian and Belgian sailors. I was slightly nervous at the prospect of sailing with these people as I had not seen the inside of a boat for three months.

The next morning we were given a tour of the island.  Les Embiez is both beautiful and secluded, as it’s only inhabitants are twenty French people and three goats, with whom we became well aquainted with.

We sailed for the next few days with growing frustration at the light weather. Our sessions were short, four hour sessions. Finally on the Friday, the wind got up to eighteen knots and the sun finally broke through. We came off the water that day with soaked skin  and dead legs. We had little respite as the next day offered almost as much wind and large waves which were the causes of many downwind capsizes. There was little to no wind the next day so we got a chance to explore the mainland in the morning before going for a relaxed sail in the afternoon. Being the sunniest day so far, we all went to bed with varying degrees of sunburn.

The conditions the following day could not have been any more different. With gusts of up to thirty knots our coach deemed it too strong for all of us and decided to just take out two boats and swap us in and out. Patrick and Sian battled with the wind and the waves for an hour while I watched tentatively from the RIB. To my mingled relief and disappointment it was deemed too strong before I got a go and we had to go in. The wind dropped to twenty knots for the next day and we had a long but very enjoyable last day. After that, we had to hastily pack up our boats and clothes, give our apartment its first proper cleaning in over a week before driving to Nice and flying home the next day, after ten days in the sunny South of France  

Les Embiez is a stunning island and Sail Coach was a fantastic experience which I would strongly recommend to younger sailors soon to do Transition Year. A special thanks to  the Junior Committee for organising the trip.

William Shanahan

TY sailors from NYC with their coach and some other European sailors at Sailcoach