What do you get when you mix two professional sailors, a group of eager sailors and a small inland lake? This past weekend we hosted Stephanie Roble and Taylor Canfield, who served up an unforgettable experience that elevated the skills and knowledge of our mile high racers.
As soon as Stephanie agreed to speak at our 17th Annual Spirit of Sailing Gala (more on that in an upcoming post), we leaped at the opportunity to get our junior sailors in the boat with she and Taylor. Steph herself admits this type of mingling helps set sailors on the right track, “I did not really have opportunities to sail other boats with other people, so keep that going for the kids. I think that is a good way for them to figure out where they want to stand in sailing and keep it as a lifetime sport.”
An onshore chalk talk to cover the ground rules and situations boats can both pursue and avoid set the gears in motion. Thanks to the generous support from our local Lightning Fleet through Denver Sailing Association, we fleeted four boats, so all the sailors could get an opportunity to sail with Steph and Taylor.
Two groups on the water worked on location specific plays, to attempt to control their opponent. Steph and Taylor rotated sailors in near the starting line and went through pre-start and starting playground antics with the kids, finding controlling position over the other boat.
Our other boats worked on windward/leeward rounding drills, setting up tip to tail, and engaged in tacking duels to force port/starboard convergence. An atypical building South-Westerly breeze kept the sailors on their toes, as these full-sailed boats skipped across the water weighed down by a group of giddy racers.
Steph and Taylor delivered a world-class clinic to our sailors and the experience was unforgettable. A huge thanks to them for bringing their skill and talent to Community Sailing of Colorado!