Each year Iodai orgnaise a full spring training camp for all sailors during the February mid-term break from school. In 2011 it was held in Baltimore Co. Cork previously it was held in Schull. This is certainly IODAI's main training facility. It is an excellent opportunity for sailors (and parents) to meet and integrate themselves into the "Oppie Circuit"
If you've been to Spring Training before:
You'll know the form. Yes, it can be dry and sunny or it can be cold and wet, but where else could you have such fun in the middle of February? Each year it is planned to improve the event even further on the previous year to make it both useful and enjoyable. First and foremost is the sailing. Top Irish and International coaches attend and there is a high standard of coaching appropriate to each sailor's ability - from senior gold down to pre-regatta fleet. The length of time spent on the water each day will vary and is dependant on ability. Lunch and hot chocolate are provided for the sailors and indoor seminars replace sailing during poor weather.
So what else?
While the sailors are all there to improve their sailing, the week is about having fun. After sailing or on bad weather days, a number of fun activities are organised to make sure nobody gets bored. In the past gladiator jousting; a trip to the planatarium; sumo wrestling, water-balloon wars and quizzes, castle tours, disco's, pizza night wioththe coaches have all been held.
For those who haven't been before:
Have a look at the other links in this section it will give you a flavour of what the event is about.
Definitely not a problem. Most people stay in rented self catering cottages - quite reasonable at this time of year.
What about Parents ?
Yes, there is a social side for the grown ups too. You sailors don't have all the fun. In fact, after the first morning, coaches urge parents to leave their sailors off and then leave. Parents, as long as you keep your mobile on, you don't need to worry.
Dry suits are very much the order of the day with lots of warm layers underneath. Don't forget warm dry clothing for after sailing and social activities. Training shoes and a tracksuit are a good idea for morning warm-up sessions.
Sorry parents, have to do a little bit of work to ensure that the week runs smoothly. Don't worry it's not that arduous and its a great opportunity to meet people; get to know other parents and find out everything you need to know about "the Oppie Circuit".
You can help out with hot chocolate, on the slip-way, organising social activities. If you want to volunteer for more it is always welcomed.
Top class coaches are being booked for the week on a ratio that will ensure that your sailor receives adequate training both ashore and on the water. Top International coaches and Irish coaches attend (many who have sailed in the olympics !)
The ISA squad are also at the Spring training week under the direction of their coach Thomas Chaix.
All sailors including regatta fleet are eligible to attend and special care will be taken to ensure that each sailor receives training suited to their ability.
A chandlery facility will be normally be provided.
If you're new, a great opportunity to meet other Oppie parents. If you've been before you'll know that it's great to catch up with people from last year and renew old acquaintances. Walks, cycles, power-boat courses, coffee mornings, sumo wrestling, boat trips, golf, tennis, rigging clinics and leisurely lunches are among the possibilities.
Spring Training Week is deliberately organised to coincide with the educational mid-term break. While some schools may not have the full week off, most are understanding and will accept that their pupils are involved in a healthy sporting activity and will regard any extra days off as "educational".
How to entry:
All members are sent an email via sailracer with a unique username and password allowing them to enter online. Details are also published on the IODAI website in Decemeber or January each year.
Whatever happens, Spring Training Week is better than sitting around the house watching TV, playing video games and getting bored.
Or maybe your sailor would prefer to be in school ?