While many of us are still waiting to get out on the water for the first time in 2024 – that’s not the case for eight of our intrepid ILCA performance sailors, who brought in the new year over in Valencia at an international training camp.
Capably overseen by RYA Scotland Training Development Officer Robyn Phillips along with supercoach Clem, the youngsters aged 14 to 17 have returned bursting with praise for their week on the water.
Making sure they made the most out of their trip, our Scottish sailors were consistently the first nation on and last nation off the water each day, keen to soak up as much learning as possible.
But their dedication didn’t come as a surprise, with commitment clear to see before even touching down in Valencia, with everyone arriving in good time for the initial 4:30am airport start.
Commended for their impeccable attitude throughout the trip, the two ILCA 4, five ILCA 6, and one ILCA 7 sailors ensured their charter equipment was always ready to go.
Even in times when the wind wasn’t quite there, fitness sessions on the beach and mornings spent bouldering to build upper body strength were adequate replacements.
And efforts were clearly paying off, with noticeable improvements in the squads big fleet racing skills amongst top sailors from other nations.
Reflecting on the strength and dedication amongst the eight sailors, leader Robyn Phillips said:
“The team were on form the whole week – an incredibly responsible and dedicated group of youngsters who were eager to make the most of their time out there.
“It was great to see them hone new skills, and go up against some different competition in the bigger fleets.
“Amongst all that learning, the sailors also came to the conclusion that an orange does not survive a round of crab football when used as a ball – in true Valencia style.
“All in all, it was super rewarding to be out there with them all – with plenty of fun to be had as well!”
A mixture of discipline and fun, the team certainly worked hard and played hard – getting to celebrate the new year with fireworks and fun in the heart of Valencia.
The squad even managed to convince the live band to play a rendition of ‘500 Miles’ – much to everyone’s satisfaction.
With lessons taken from time spent both on and off the water, a real mix of training opportunities were on offer, as well as plenty opportunity to capture coaching video which can be poured over back home too.
Already noticing improvements in various areas of their boat handling, the youngsters are set to keep on building – no doubt keep becoming a force to be reckoned with at future events.
Grateful for the opportunity to get out there, sailors were also keen to share their thanks with those within the RYA Scotland Team who put in the careful planning to ensure a successful trip.