"It may have been a light [wind] regatta, but we had four great days of training," said Zealous coach Scott McKenzie. "The sailors worked hard all week, both on and off the water."
14 - 22 February Zealous Sailing offered a unique coaching package including regatta coaching at the Palamós Optimist Trophy, followed by a four day intensive clinic, held in the Spanish municipality of Costa Brava. Zealous Sailing had a team of 15 sailors, led by coaches Sam and Scott McKenzie.
The Palamós Optimist Trophy, arguably one of the most popular winter regattas in Europe, attracted 550 competitors from all over the world including Canada and the United States. With good breeze the day prior to the competition, the four day regatta failed to deliver sailable conditions, with the race commitment only finishing 3 races out out of the12 proposed. Zealous sailor, Ebbe Heinilä from Helsinki's Brändö Seglare did well, posting a 2nd and 3rd in the series.
"It's frustrating for everyone. The organisers have done their best." said Head Coach Sam McKenzie. "Parents put in a massive effort to make these trips possible and to walk away with three races in tough. However, I'm super happy we made the decision to stay four more days and train here at the Costa Brava Yacht Club. We've had great wind and good competition."
The four-day Zealous Clinic held after the event saw Northerly winds of 10-25 knots. "A lot of our sailors are from Helsinki and Riga. They're flat water specialist. Coming to the Mediterranean where the waves are big and the sea is sloppy - it's a whole different style of sailing," said Sam McKenzie. "After a couple of intensive sessions the improvement is visible, and in the end, they were super competitive in these windy and wavy conditions." The last day of the training clinic consisted of an informal "coaches regatta", as fellow Dutch, Finnish, and Norwegian teams joined together to form a fleet of 50 boats and take part in four competitive races.