Eleven members of the Newbury Yacht Club joined Simon Rowell at Stormforce Coaching in Shamrock Quay for an illuminating and intensive dive into Weather Systems.

Fuelled by regular tea and coffee breaks, a mountain of jaffa cakes and custard creams (much to Simon’s delight) we sailed through the agenda with a very knowledgeable coach – who usually provides the weather forecasts for the British Sailing Team. Whether (no pun intended!), this will allow us to improve our sailing skills … only the end of the season results will tell.

It was noted by some members, furiously scribbling notes around the building of sea breezes, that the increased knowledge and application of tactics would prove mighty useful in trying to beat Selko into port at the next rally – as Andy and Jane always seem to get better wind than everyone else!

By the end of the day we’d covered a lot of ground including:-
· Global weather patterns

· Weather charts and forecasts

· Mid-latitude weather

· Boundary layer weather

· Topographic Effects

Simon gave us all some great habit forming techniques to increase our knowledge over time. Simple things like setting your homepage laptop browser to the met office weather chart and matching that to your local conditions when having breakfast in the morning.

Taking note of your local weather conditions and cross referencing those with the theory you have learned becomes curiously addictive. Memorizing what the various cloud formations indicate helps greatly, and we now all have an understanding of sailing through gusts and maximising lift!

Finally, for all of us the BBC 10 o’clock weather forecast now means an awful lot more than it did before. With little blue triangles and red semi circles meaning much more than just “a front”.

The immense knowledge Simon has, was generously shared with all of us and will prove very useful in predicting weather patterns on future passages whilst feeling safe in the knowledge that the resources we’ll be using are all tried and tested.

Debby and Philip both commented that they’d be putting all this new found knowledge into a good test as they sail from Southampton up to St Katharine’s docks in the next few weeks. They were looking forward to putting theory into practice!

18th February 2017