The 2014 Spitfire Nationals held at Brightlingsea during RegFest saw the largest number of Spitfires racing for several years. A group of 10 youth sailors ranging from National Youth squad sailors to new teams accepted an invitation from the Spitfire’s builder Rob White to attend a master class. When this ran on the 4th & 5th October Rob outlined some of the features of the Spitfire and highlighted basic cat sailing techniques. During a short briefing before heading on the water Rob proudly passed around Reg White’s Olympic Gold Medal (Robs Father), the sailors where able to touch and feel a piece of sailing history. A double Olympic sailing representative himself Rob detailed some of the many hours of work and commitment needed to reach the highest level of their chosen sport.
Saturday Morning was breezy and offered exciting and challenging sailing. The boats stayed in the river estuary and practised some short sharp starts and races before tacking back and repeating the experience. Rob sitting comfortably in his rib was able to pass some experience and expert eye over the teams techniques offering each team a short suggestion of some thing different to try or a new setting before the boats lined up again and raced each other over the line.
One of the sailors commented it was fantastic to get such a sharp and experienced eye look at what they were doing and offer some short practical advice on changes.
As the wind picked up the conditions became a little too challenging for some of the less experienced sailor so the boats headed for the beach leaving plenty of time for them to reflect on the day it was obvious from the excited chatter and comments that they had all gained a vast amount from the session.
Sunday dawned sunny and calm, with the boats lined up along the beach, Rob went over each boat explaining and demonstrating where they could make some simple but effective changes to improve performance. He also discussed the importance of maintaining their equipment and boats to make sure they would be able to achieve maximum performance. Sailors were heard to comment, that it was different hearing from the boat manufacturer and such an experienced cat sailor, how they could change their boats set up to get simple performance gains. As the wind filled in and the boats took to the water and spend a useful late morning and afternoon enjoy the thrills of sailing this exciting boat.
The sailors had a fantastic time and were delighted to thank Rob for his time & expertise at the end of the weekend.
The Spitfire is a one design, two person catamaran which offers fantastic performance and excitement. It offers spectacular sailing. The responsive rig on the Spitfire responds to finesse rather than physical strength, enabling, youth sailors and couples of any age to experience thrills. The slender lines and light hulls provide instant acceleration and high speed sailing.
The Spitfire is the RYA supported Youth Cat and part of the Youth double handed Pathway. The Youth Cat association has a Charter Spitfire that can be used by new sailors thinking of joining the class or clubs to experience the thrill and excitement of the best kept secret in youth sailing.