Jack Stonehouse: Hi, I’m Jack Stonehouse from Boatshop24.
Balazs Jarai: I’m Balazs Jarai from Mailspeed Marine.
Jack: You’re joining us today in Sussex with Alex Mills-Barton a 2016 GB Sailing
hopeful, and he’s hopefully going to teach us how to sail in a day.
Alex: We are going to go for a few more advanced manoeuvres here – a couple of mark
roundings, a 360, maybe some accelerations.
With the Mark Rounding we are going round the guys in the boat, moored up on the
mark. So start preparing the controls for the manoeuvre, ready for the next leg, the up leg.
We come round nice and wide, then come up tight round the mark, build up lots of speed,
and we’re back on the next leg, the upwind leg.
We’ll do the next one with a jibe, that makes it a bit more tricky. So controls on,
jibe…out wide…and in nice and tight.
The wind’s picked up – my feet are under the toe strap.
[Alex does another Mark Rounding]
Jack: When we last met, you said you were going to help out on the Olympic 2012 Press
boat. How did that go?
Alex: Yes, really good. I was on a press boat – a Beneteau yacht down there - and each
day we were assigned a course area and went to watch the racing at that course.
I was helping the media guys, to give them a bit of background into who everyone
was, what was going on, who the sailors were, how good they were. It was an amazing
experience, really good.
Alex: What we can do now is a couple of 360s which is a penalty [in a race] for when
you hit a mark, or hit another boat, or infringe another boat on the rules.
[Alex performs several 360 turns]
The main thing is to keep the speed on them, which makes it a lot easier. All the time
you are doing these, you are letting the rest of the boats get away.
So what we’ll do now is go through it again. You hold the tiller to one side, continuously
steering in that direction. So it keeps turning and turning and keep moving your body
weight and the main sheet down here to adjust the sail towards that angle you are facing
in. So constant adjustments and constant body movement.
The rudder stays in the same place the whole way through
Alex: We’ll go through a capsize practice. It’s quite hard to capsize purposely.
This is what happens if the wind blows the wrong side. So do a quick righting…climb
over the top… and climb back in.
You get a little bit wet from the sail but that’s about it.
We’ll go through that again.
Climb over the top…onto the dagger board…and you get the boat up….and try and get
back on course as quick as possible.
The quicker you get it up, the better because all the time you are capsized you are
slowing down, and people are making space on you.
So hold onto the main sheet and tiller extension as well, and that means as soon as I get
back in the boat, I can go again.
Jack: So how is your training coming along for the Rio 2015 Olympics?
Alex: We will have lots of training camps in Rio over the next couple of years. They
will release a selection policy and that will consist of 2 or 3 events, and over those 2 or3
events they will probably pick the best sailors, probably end of 2014, early 2015, to give
some time to prepare for the Olympics. That will be the next thing in the coming couple
Alex: Another key manoeuvre is an acceleration. So on the start line when you are
waiting for the gun to go. Sit in the position where you want to be on the start line, with
the sails flapping so you are not moving anywhere.
When it’s about 10 seconds to go, you start putting the controls on, getting everything
ready, then you pull the main sheet in… bit of leeward heel…so heel the boat away from
you… pull the sail in and pull the boat flat, and it accelerates as you do so.
So once again, the sails are flapping, and we’re not moving anywhere. Waiting for the
start and depending on how far we think we are from the line.
So controls on…. pull the rudder towards of me. Get the speed on… bit of leeward heel
and pull the main sheet in and flatten the boat…and it accelerates, and off you go.
A good start means you’ve got clear wind, and can do what you want and there’s no boats
affecting you. …