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BKA Training and Locations

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The BKA will comprise of a national squad, with each sailor tailoring their own programme depending upon their experience and future aspirations.

60 successful applicants, looking to join the BKA squad for their first year, will be invited and required to attend a Selection Weekend on the 7th/8th November 2020 at Port Solent, Portsmouth.  The weekend will be a chance for the coaching team to assess and review their sailing skills, to discuss your specific goals for the programme and personal performance on and off the water.  

Following the selection weekend sailors will be invited to join the 2nd year BKA Squad sailors, making a total number of 60 squad sailors.  

All sailors from the BKA should develop some ability in all positions on a boat. Sailors will want to focus on specific areas to help them move in the direction which they are motivated in. To balance both of these goals, the ‘crew positions’ will be simplified into three areas: Foredeck, Trimmer and Afterguard.  

  • Foredeck includes: Bow, Mast and Pit.
  • Trimmer includes: Pit, Spinnaker Trim, Jib Trim and Main Trim.
  • Afterguard includes: Main Trim, Helm and Navigation/Tactics.  

 

Individual modules

Each Sailor will be given training in the following areas, on these dates:

  • 5/6th December 2020 - Symmetric spinnaker handling - working as a team, boat handling – London (QMSC)
  • 23/24th January 2021 - Match Racing - crew work, boat handling and how to overtake - Weymouth
  • 20/21st February 2021 - Inshore Yacht Racing - bigger teams, basic navigation, boat speed – Port Solent/Portsmouth
  • 27/28th March 2021 - High performance asymmetric - decision making at speed, acceleration - Cowes  

An additional 'Offshore' module will be available for a limited number of sailors, at an additional cost.

Coaches will be aiming to tailor the weekend sessions to your requirements so it is important to let them know what you want to work on in advance.   

Online learning and remote coaching: In addition to the training weekends there will be several webinars throughout the winter, aimed at looking in more detail at topics picked by the sailors. 

 

Specialist modules

As well as individual modules driving the weekend, there will be ‘shore side’ modules to round off their knowledge about practical keelboat sailing. These may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Boat electronics
  • Diesel engines
  • GRP and alloys
  • Rigging, ropes and hardware
  • Navigation basics
  • Toolbox’s and quick fixes
  • Sail making and repairs
 

Communication:

Once you have been selected for the squad and confirmed your place, you will be added to a WhatsApp group and a private facebook group for all squad communications.  Although emails will go to squad sailors, many last minute changes/updates will only be circulated on the facebook group and in WhatsApp.

Venues:

We will be working with the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in Portland. The Royal Thames Yacht Club and Queen Mary Sailing Club in Staines, West London. Sunsail in Port Solent. The Royal Thames Yacht Club at Shepards Wharf Marina in Cowes.

Accommodation:

Please be aware that accommodation and food is not included for the training weekends.  We hope to be able to provide accommodation on-board for the selection and inshore weekends, however this will depend upon government COVID-19 guidelines in place when the events take place.

Key events next year:

Will be dependent upon the squad sailors’ ambitions, but may include: Rolex Fastnet, Cowes Week, Scottish Series, Commodores Cup, World Sailing Nations Cup, Eurosaf Match Racing Championships.

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