Thomas Chaix commenced working as Head Coach in September with the aim of bringing high quality training to the general membership, Junior section, cadet members as well as enhancing the skills of instructors and coaches. His remit encompassed Dinghy Sailing, Racing yachts and Performance sailing.
During the initial weeks he focused on finding his marks by meeting various stakeholders such as class captains, Sailing Secretary and Sailing Subcommittee, the Junior Organiser and Junior Committee as well as many active sailors, instructors and coaches.
Thomas has formalised various coaching programmes, acting both as a coach himself and delegating to keen NYC instructors. One aim has been to facilitate and simplify the work traditionally done by class captains.
The NYC has programmes up-and-running in the following classes:
- ILCA (Laser) & Aero adults
- ILCA (Laser) Junior
- Optimist Performance
- RS Feva (NEW)
- Optimist beginners
Pilot coaching sessions (to test interest) included:
- Team racing – junior
- Flying Fifteen winter coaching
- Match racing session with 29er group
- An event preparation course was arranged for the NYC Flying Fifteen teams going to the worlds in Fremantle as part of pilot work with the class.
The following programmes will be added in the Spring:
- Flying Fifteen coaching series
- Aeros coaching series
- J80 WOW coaching series
- Safety boat courses
- Eliotts – Match racing League
- Keelboat and Cruiser racing support – especially in the lead-up to Volvo DL regatta.
The process to engage with the coaching programme and to set up courses for areas is:
- Work with Class Captains to determine format, content and likely attendance
- Budget on basis of attendance (incl internal and external costs and expenses)
- Propose price structure to class captain for agreement
- Class captain may readjust before sending out a link to the class.
At the completion of each activity, a review is completed and sent to Class Captains. This includes logistics info, any travelling expenses, attendances, and the financial outcome of the activity for the club.
Another aspect of coaching is the support given to NYC sailors at the away events. In the last six months, these have included:
- Malahide Open regatta: RS Feva, Optimist
- Eurocup finals in Garda, Italy: 29ers
- EUROMED regatta in Malta: Optimist & ILCA4
- OptiOrange regatta in Valencia, Spain: Optimist
- GP Weymouth, UK: 29ers
- Winters in Lough Derg YC: Topper
Thomas also supported Rear Commodore, Rosemary Cadogan in shore-based learning courses over the Winter, which included:
- Rules talks (x2)
- Team Racing Introductory talk
- Crewing in double and multi-handed boats
- Programming & goal settings for Optimist sailors
The role of a full-time coach has successfully transitioned from a concept to an integral part of our club. In the last six months, we have seen significant demand from our NYC sailors and the reach of the coaching programmes continues to widen. The presence of a full-time coach and professionally organised coaching sessions will enhance the skills of our performance sailors and our NYC instructors. It is an important addition to the benefits of being an NYC member and enhances the NYC’s attractiveness to new members.