Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Wilmot spends the majority of his professional sailing career travelling between Europe and the USA racing the Melges 24, Melges 32 and Melges 20. Next week he heads back to Europe to Porto Cervo to compete in the Melges 32 European Championships, followed by the Melges 24 Volvo Cup in Cattolica, Melges 24 Worlds in Lake Garda, the Melges 24 North American Championships in San Francisco and Melges 32 Worlds in Newport.
Nathan took time out of his busy schedule to give back to the Melges classes here as guest coach at the Melges Asia Pacific Coaching Clinic held last Sunday on Pittwater.
The day started bright and early at 8am with a dockside session going over the boat, crew procedures, timing, rig tuning and pre regatta planning strategies. On the water fellow coaches Heath Walters and Chris Links from Melges Asia Pacific set the course in order to practice starting drills, upwind strategies and tactics, mark rounding’s, sets and drop and downwind strategies.
The crews then had a break and lunch was provided on water in the protection of Little Lovett Bay. The afternoon session of short races in building winds provided some testing conditions and great boat handling practice. A debrief and beer back on the dock rounded out an excellent day finishing at 4pm.
Owners often spend money on new sails and gear and neglect the value of coaching. Providing on water coaching supports the crews performance and helps improve specific techniques in simulated racing conditions.
Future clinics have been planned for all Melges classes to build on this experience. Thank you to Nathan Wilmot for sharing his knowledge, and to Rushcutter 25 Tender boats.