South East Area Coaching
Open Coaching Days Explained
To support sailors who wish to progress their sailing ability we hold Open Coaching events throughout the year. We also ensure that we inlcude both tidal and lakes so that sailors can increase their experience of different sailing conditions. In order to take part in these training events all you need to be able to do is safely sail a triangular course and you will be put in a group with other sailors of similar sailing skill.
Open coaching can be booked via the enter events tab on the ITCA website.
16 places are initially made available and can be booked online using the link at the top of this page. An additional eight places may be made available if there is sufficient demand and coaches/RIBs are available at least two weeks prior to the event. Generally places will not exceed 24 in total.
Booking will close 1 week before the event or earlier if fully booked
Cancellations: Please note that once you have booked on the entry system, no refunds will be given. Please ensure you can attend before you book onto the event.
The cost of Open Coaching is currently £25 per day.
Lead coach - Andy Kerr:
Andy grew up racing Toppers, when the mainsheet was aft rigged, before progressing onto Lasers. Andy started instructing sailing in 2001 and worked full time at centres for eight years before becoming a freelance coach. Over the last eight years, Andy has visited most of the clubs in the South East and he thoroughly enjoys coaching, as well as learning so much from the sailors.
Assistant coach -
Open Coaching Information
Open Coaching is run locally by the ITCA team at clubs across the London & South East Region. The Topper is an RYA 'pathway' class, which means it is recognised as developing the technical, physical and racing skills necessary to succeed at Youth and Olympic level. Our training days are open to all Topper sailors, from improvers to advanced racers so long as sailors are competent to sail a triangular course. Non ITCA members can attend one open coaching event. If you enjoy the training we'd like you to join ITCA for additional coaching and racing.
We aim to have a ratio no higher than 1 coach to 8 sailors, often less, but please book early so that we can confirm the correct number of coaches as early as possible.
Typical training day timetable
- Arrival from 8.30am (check event details)
- Registration is available from 9.00am
- Coaching begins in club house at 9.30am (with boats rigged and sailors in fitness clothing including trainers). On the water about 10.30-11.00am (weather permitting).
- Lunch at 1.00pm
- On water 2.00pm
- Debrief 4.00pm
- Finish 4.30pm but this may vary dependant on the weather conditions and amount of daylight.
Essential Equipment and Advice for the Coaching Day
- All sailors and on-water helpers are expected to be properly equipped for the day so please check the conditions ahead of time. It is essential that all sailors are dressed appropriately for the winter sailing conditions. Some of the sessions take place at the coldest points of the winter, so to take advantage of the coaching you need to be warm enough. Ideally sailors should be wearing drysuits and layers of thermals, plus proper winter gloves and woolly hats. If you wear a wetsuit it needs to be a 5.3mm steamer or layering system with termals and an acqua fleece.
- Attached is a link to an interesting article by Dave Cockerill, ex Topper National Coach, about keeping warm on the water which covers more than just clothing.
- The day begins with a warm up exercise so remember to bring your fitness clothing and trainers.
- Sailors should bring a pen and notebook to briefings and debriefings because it is impossible to remember even half of the information you will receive, so if its written down you can refer back to it. Please also have a drink in all briefings and out on the water with you to make sure you stay hydrated.
- For all sailors under 18 there must be an adult responsible for the sailor during the event, ie. someone who will be at or in the immediate vicinity of the club.
- Parents will be asked in advance to volunteer as crews for the coach boats and for on shore duties so make sure you also are appropriately dressed and please ask if you need to borrow a buoyancy aid. All parents need to help launch their sailors so waterproof/non slip footwear is essential.