school is out

school-in-sessionI don’t want to give away the whole J/World curriculum, but man, was it great to practice starts and start strategies. It’s my favorite part of a race, and sometimes the most stressful.
Sean, the instructor on my boat for start day, was unflappable and gave me the perfect amount of guidance, as the voice of calm over my shoulder. We had lots of practice time on the water every day, and it wasn’t just “go practice stuff”, it was done in a way to demonstrate to us aspects we had focused on in the classroom.
The boats we used are equipped with both symmetrical spinnakers (that some boats still use!) and asymmetrical spinnakers, and we got to practice using each type as much as we wanted. One day we were able to get down to the South Bay, where there is often a nice steady breeze over the Silver Strand State Beach. It was a blast (no pun intended), and we all made sure everyone got as much time in each position as they wanted to. We were able to practice in shifty, gusty wind some days and steady wind others. Thank you San Diego!
Every day Patrick and Sean, the instructors, were able to keep the good pace of the instruction, allowed plenty of time for questions, and never ran out of material. I thought it was remarkable how they were able to maintain their enthusiasm and energy throughout the course. We were stoked to be there and they seemed to be, too. It felt like a luxury to have that much personal attention from them and they genuinely wanted to help us become better racers. I know lots of great sailors who don’t have the patience to teach (does that sound like anyone you know, Ed.?), but they clearly had both passion for racing and for teaching. We really appreciated it.
By the end of the week, the students were acting like a team, smoothing out the edges and the communication. We all got more comfortable with rotating through the positions and I ended the week feeling confident in each role. We had a lot of fun racing against the other student boat. I can tell that I have only just scratched the surface of Patrick’s knowledge and asked if J/World offers private lessons when they don’t have group classes. Good news for me; yes!
I read the great reviews and still the course exceeded my expectations. I wondered if I could sail 5 days in a row without getting sick of it, and I have my answer; Good thing I don’t have any windows in my office after all, or I’d be staring longingly out of them all day… – Mary Hardy. (Part one of the story is here. – ed)