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When to Change Classes

Key Concepts

  • It is critically important for sailors to be learning at an accelerated rate from the ages of around 10/11 to the age of 17. This learning is reliant on the environment presented to the sailors being accurately challenging. Young people are naturally capable of adapting, they enjoy learning and experimenting. When young people are learning and growing their self esteem is high and they are happiest. Any periods of time at this stage where a sailor is in an environment that is not suitably challenging will lead them to be bored and possibly put them behind their peers. Both of these are key contributors to young people leaving sport.

  • Sailors will learn skills to a better level when their weight is on the smaller size. The boat reacts more quickly to wind and wave conditions causing the sailors to adjust more rapidly and learn better sailing skills. If the sailors are larger the boat does not react in the same way and hence they do not learn to the same refined level.

  • It is important to be aware that sailors in this age group will get heavier every 3-6 months. This is a natural, healthy part of their growing and it is dangerous to try to limit this growth. Take into account this growth when planning for the season. Sailors who are heavy for a boat often get frustrated quickly because the boat simply won’t perform to optimum.

When to Change Class

  • When the class is no longer challenging

  • When the sailor is over the optimum weight

  • If the sailor’s learning has been stunted

  • If the sailor is bored

  • If the sailor outgrows their peers in that class

 Performance Pathway (1.4MB)