2018 Craftinsure and E Howard-Davies GP14 Youth Training Week

Daily reports will be posted here so check back each day for the latest update.


Eight sailors were welcomed at the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre by Head Coach James Parker-Mowbray for the first day of the 2018 Craftinsure and E Howard-Davies GP14 Youth Training Week. The conditions at Portland – described as ‘fruity’ – meant that James and guest coach Ian Dobson spent the morning on boat prep. and tuning.

Fortunately the wind moderated enough from them to get the fleet launched for an afternoon session and put both the sailors and boats through their paces. The conditions still managed to cause numerous capsizes and unfortunately one damaged boat who returned early for repairs. The remaining boats kept going and it was nearly 6pm before they finally returned, wet, tired and happy!


Today head coach James from Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre focused day two of the 2018 Craftinsure and E Howard-Davies GP14 Youth Training Week on starting. The day began with a short classroom session followed by plenty of time on the water. Exercises included Jack Rabbits to help with gate starts, box starts to improve lines, alongside more general boat handling techniques such as hovering and how to create space. 

This year’s squad come from Greystones SC, Poole YC, Staunton Harold SC,  Welsh Harp SC and Youghal SC and made the most of the beautiful evening at Portland with a walk up the hill to see the Olympic Rings.


The weather today was described as ‘blowing dogs off leads’ and the squad who had had two tiring days sailing in heavy winds appeared not to mind spending the day in the classroom. Head coach James took them through the importance of communicating, goal setting, strategy and protests.

Neil Marsden joined us in the evening and spoke inspirationally to the group about his personal experience of goal setting and objectives. It appears there may soon be no wind left in Portland and tomorrow is looking like the day for James and Ian to get the group working on roll tacking!

We would like to to thank Craftinsure for supporting our 2018 Craftinsure and E Howard-Davies GP14 Youth Training Week and supplying the sailors with their smart new rash vests!


Though it was a bright sunny morning at Portland there was little wind and as expected Day 4 of the 2018 Craftinsure and E Howard-Davies GP14 Youth Training Week started with roll tacking. There was only a few good rolls when the fleet first launched, but by lunchtime coaches Ian and James declared they were tacking well and only needed another 1,000 or so tacks a piece and they would be perfect.

The wind built and after lunch group moved on to more start-line techniques and finished of with some spinnaker work.

The wind is back tomorrow with a forecast described locally as ‘fresh but not frightening’.

Day 5

As predicted the weather on Day 5 of the 2018 Craftinsure and E Howard-Davies GP14 Youth Training Week was certainly fresh! Coach Neil Marsden was not deterred and neither were the fleet when he announced that they would be sailing in 20/25+ knot winds and he proceeded to run through heavy weather settings. Neil laid some long legs so they could get the kites-up and ‘go for a blast’. There were a few capsizes, but nobody minded that!

The weather dropped dramatically at lunchtime down to 8 gusting 15 knots which was ideal for some short races to put into practice everything they learnt.

The fleet now move on to Poole to compete in the GP14 UK Youth Championships and will meet again at Mount’s Bay for the 2018 Gul GP14 World Championships.

We would like to thank coaches James Parker-Mowbray of the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre, Ian Dobson and Neil Marsden. We would also like to thank Craftinsure and the E Howard-Davies Memorial Fund, for their support of this event.