Mirror April 2017 Training

ISA Class Coaching Fund Success

Double Handed Dinghies Make the Most of the ISA Class Coaching Grant

Reports are coming in from ISA affiliated classes that made the most of an ISA Class Coaching grant this summer. The double handed (helm and crew) Mirror, Feva, Waterwags and RS200 found it to be a great help in improving their skills. It is great to see these double handed classes so active in organising professional coaching through the winter months.


The International Mirror Sailing Association Ireland ran a series of four training weeks through January to April.
• January 14th – 15th Lough Ree Yacht Club
• February 11th – 12th Lough Ree Yacht Club
• March 11th -12th Lough Ree Yacht Club
• April 8th -9th Lough Ree Yacht Club

Coaches Graeme Grant, Scot Flanagan, Emma Geary and Shane Diviney provided superb training and we saw a tremendous improvement on the skills level across the class and an increase in participation from previous years.

There were 8 boats on average at each session (16 sailors) at each session.

A number of the sailors are not only preparing for the season ahead, but also for the Mirror Worlds in Cornwall this summer.

“Thank you for your support for the class training, it is very much appreciated.” John McGonigle, Mirror Class Commodore


In the meantime the Feva class held a series of coaching sessions to get all sailors up to speed and ready for the 2017 season.

The final round of pre-season coaching took place on 19 & 20 April in Howth Yacht Club. This was a joint ISA and Feva Association Coaching event and was an excellent warm up for the RS Easterns. 26 sailors took part in the coaching in 13 Feva’s. Tadgh Donnelly and Greg Arrowsmith did a great job in taking the sailors through a number of on and off the water sessions over the two days focusing on starting, spinnaker flying, sail trim and shape, tides and helm and crew communication.

Over the course of the four training sessions we had 60 sailors taking part in a range of conditions and locations. We would like to thank the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Greystones Sailing Club, Malahide Yacht Club and Howth Yacht Club for facilitating the coaching and special thanks to all of the coaches including Graeme Grant, Greg Arrowsmith, Stephen Craig, Scott Flanagan, Tadhg Donnelly, Colin O’Sullivan and Meg Tyrrell.


A fantastic weekend in Lough Ree with the Waterwags for a coaching weekend getting them all geared up ready for their season, kicking off this week.

Each team and individual have their own goals and areas to improve on ……no matter how small the improvement is, it has a significant boost in performance. Marginal gains are something we see at the highest levels of elite sport when actually it can be applied to each and every one of us whether this is work, home life, sport and even socialising.

We don’t all have to be aiming for a gold medal to want to improve. We all want that feeling of learning something new, that feeling of achievement and confidence that comes with it. Working with a group of people that are so hungry to learn and enjoy every step of the development cycle is inspiring.

“Even though I was the one coaching I come away learning so much which is something I feel truly grateful.” Mark Rhodes, Coach


The ISA/RS 200 training weekend enjoyed great conditions on Feb 4/5. Big thanks to Saskia Tidey – just back from racing in Miami – for brilliant coaching. She kept the pace up relentlessly and crews made massive, noticeable improvements. Crews spent almost 5 hours on the water on the second day in a wonderful sunny Force 3-5 with slightly less sailing on Saturday in everything from 5 to 25 knots. Thanks to all the helpers and the ISA for a grant, it’s great to see them helping classes out. Well done to all the participants who dug their boats out in mid-winter (shouts out to some parents there for the driving) and made for such a friendly, enthusiastic bunch from five Leinster clubs.


The IDRA Class Association ran a 2-day ISA sponsored coaching session in Dun Laoghaire on the weekend of 13 and 14 May. Winds were strong and gusty reaching force 6 at times. Nine boats participated on the Saturday, with three boats dropping out on Sunday due to strong winds and in one case, a pulled muscle from Saturday’s session. However, some of their crew attended Sunday’s land based sessions. Participants ranged in age from 14 to 60+ and were almost equally balanced between male and female. Our ISA approved coach Ger Owens put everyone through two intensive 7 hour days. During the sailing sessions, some sailors did almost as many heavy weather gybes and spinnaker hoists as they would do in a full season – and have the bruises to prove it. While all the participants race regularly, many had not had any formal coaching or structured practice sessions for years and accordingly found this session extremely useful.
Feedback from participants was very positive and class members are already talking about arranging more such sessions. “Many thanks to the ISA, the DMYC, Ger Owens and our volunteer RIB crews for a great weekend.” Lorcan O’Sullivan

Go here to find links to all the ISA Affiliated Classes.