RYA Squads – approach to training
Thank you all for your patience and understanding regarding the changes to the squads that have been going through this year.
Following recent publication of the 2018/19 Topper Squad Notice of Selection, I wanted to provide some clarity regarding the training plan for next year's Topper squads starting in October 2018.
The training plan is the result of joint discussions with the RYA team (including existing national coaches) and the ITCA (GBR) team. An objective for the training plan was to provide flexibility for training in small and large groups, allow Boys and Girls to train together some of the time, and also provide an aspirational element to the squads.
The selection policy will be used to provide a group of sailors in RYA Topper Junior squads. The aspiration is to have equal numbers of boys and girls within the squads. Modeling the new selection policy against the existing sailors, we believe this is unlikely to happen this year as there are not enough girls currently competing at a suitable level at national events. Gender parity is however a clear aspiration.
Following squad selection, sailors will be allocated into 3 training groups. Each group will have a lead coach. One of the coaches will be the overall head coach. The provisional plan is to split the training groups as follows (with selection based on male and female rankings):
- RYA Performance training group (PER) – this will consist of the top third of sailors, by ranking, from the boys squad selection and the top third of sailors from the girls squad selection. We expect this to give a training group size of between 14 and 16 sailors.
- RYA training group S2 – this will consist of the next third of the boys and the girls by ranking. We expect this to give a training group size of between 14 and 16 sailors.
- RYA training group S3 – this will consist of the remaining selected sailors. We expect this training group to be between 12 and 16 sailors.
We are currently working through the detailed planning for venues, dates and duration for the training camps. Some training camps will be residential.
It is currently expected that Boys and Girls squads will train together as one large group some of the time. During these camps, sailors may be split into their training groups. For some weekend camps, the Boys and Girls squads may train at different venues. For other weekends there may be a mix of training groups at different venues (e.g. PER & S2 together at one venue, S3 at a different venue), The details of how this will work are to be further defined.
An example training outline could be as follows:
Camp 1 (4 days) – RYA Girls and Boys squads training at same venue.
Camp 2 (2 days) – mixed PER group trains independently. S2 & S3 have a joint venue training camp.
Camp 3 (2 days) – All male sailors train at the one venue. All female sailors train at a different venue.
Camp 4 (2 days) – PER & S3 have joint venue training camp. S2 group trains independently.
ITCA National Squads
In parallel with the RYA squads outlined above, it is planned that the ITCA National 5.3 and 4.2 squads will continue with only minor changes from previous years. The most significant change for the ITCA 5.3 squad is that the lower age limit has been reduced as detailed in the Notice of Selection.
On Friday 24th November our own Sally Dugdale, former Chairman of ITCA (GBR) and now Vice-Chairman Racing, was rewarded for her tireless work in the class and received one of the Royal Yachting Association’s most prestigious awards – RYA Community Awards Outstanding Contribution. Read More
The Optimist Class (IOCA) have kindly invited any Topper sailors that are trying to decide what to sail next, to join them at a Transition Day at the end of November Read More
At the end of August we learned with great sadness of the death of Helen Evans, former ITCA (GBR) Secretary and ITCA International Secretary. Read More