We had the privilege of Michael McNamara training us on Saturday 10th June 2023 at MYC, with
the opportunity to put his teachings into practice during the Medway Marathon the following day
and the Wayfarer Easterns hosted by MYC next weekend. Ten Wayfarers on five boats (Knot
Rushing, La Rive, Little Angel, Muffin and Ubique) took part, plus a few members from the Sonata
and Squib classes for the morning sessions.
The training day started at 10:30 am in the library with an enlightening presentation by Michael
on sailing aerodynamics. An impromptu happy-birthday interlude for Chris Parish on our way to
the hard introduced us to the second equally enlightening session dedicated to boat rigging in
various conditions. Muffin was the model boat, courtesy of Catherine and Richard. Lunch was
followed by a briefing in the library, then a short sail to Mears, and a series of exercises, which
consisted of tacking and jibing around two inflatable buoys at short distance, several
windward/leeward short races, practicing stop and start, and the ominous “tacking (and jibing)
to oblivion” drills, in the splendid setting of a good, at times moderate to fresh northeasterly
breeze, clear sky and a flooding tide. The training day ended at around 17:00 in the library with
an analysis of the videos recorded by Michael on the water and feedback to sailors.
We all agreed the teaching day was excellent with plenty of nuggets for everyone, from those with a relatively rudimentary sailing knowledge (e.g. class captain) to those more technically
advanced. It certainly made us appreciate the challenges of close contact racing. Big thanks to Michael McNamara, our vice captain Sarah Mason, all staff, and in particular the
office for their support in organizing and running the event, Andrew Knatchbull and Michelle Mackey for driving a RIB, laying buoys and operating racing flags during the afternoon session, in addition to the safety RIB (Peter Booth & James Hannant).