In 2016 the VIODA coaching committee initiated a Winter Training program open to all Optimist sailors in Victoria to attend. This program commences after most Club OTB summer programs wrap up for the season, and finishes in time for home clubs for season opening days.
This purpose of this initiative includes:
- Improved sailor engagement during winter months
- Development of skills in light & shifty conditions
- Centralise sharing of best practice between coaches
- Suitable conditions for Green, Intermediate and Open sailors
Why we learn to sail on a lake?
Many Victorian sailing clubs are on Port Phillip or Western Port Bay which provides sailors with great access to training in good consistent breeze and varied sea states. Often these locations can be difficult for the younger sailor when it gets really cold in Melbourne and Victoria had minimal juniors sailing year round. We also identified that when Victorian sailors were competing interstate at events with light & shifty wind, and/or lake sailing our juniors were unaccustomed to the skills need in these environments.
Why Albert Park Lake?
One of the best locations to learn these skills is Albert Park Lake which is centrally based for most Melbourne based Victorian sailors. Due to the location and protected waters nature of Albert Park we are rarely blown out on a winter days. The lake also presents quite varied and shifty conditions due to land features which develops the skills to read the wind. These skills are crucial to a developing sailor as they will need these skills when sailing in lake conditions and in more technically complex waters.
As a result, we have seen a big improvement in participation and skills of the fleet includings:
- Increase in number of juniors sailing all year (2018 over 50 sailors were training all winter)
- Sailor enjoyment increased safer and dryer environment
Understanding the wind
- Picking wind shifts
- Land features affect on wind angle
- Finding the best pressure
Boat handling skills:
- Changing gears in the boat
- Close quarters boat handling
- Startline practice & acceleration
- Learning to hold your lane.
Training Date & Times:
We typically train on Sunday afternoons between in the months of May through until September. NOTE: This supports most APS School Sport and other winter club sports programs such as Netball, AFL, Soccer.
Winter Lake Membership & Boat Storage:
Winter Associate Memberships is available with Albert Sailing Club. Albert Sailing Club also have undercover storage subject to availabilty.