J-70 training week at Lake Reschen
It was the end of june, just over a month before the J/70 Youth Cup, when we received the phenomenal offer to take part in a training session with Roman Koch.
Since Paula and I had sailed 420 regattas in the spring, there had only been a few opportunities for J70 training up to that point, and we jumped at the opportunity.
A week before the regatta in Steckborn, Ina Peikert, Paula Wollkopf and I took the Joy to South Tyrol. After crossing a few passes with the trailer, which was quite adventurous, we reached Lake Reschen.
The welcome at the sailing club was very warm. The mast had barely been raised when we were invited to a welcome glass of champagne.
We got to know our training partners, an Austrian team. Everyone got along right away, which promised us a great week of training.
We were spot on with this assessment because both teams were on the same level, both personally and in terms of sailing and we were able to learn a lot from each other.
Since the three of us, Paula, Ina and I carry a rather modest weight, it was our luck that we were able to get Gianpietro Cerletti to sail with us for a few days. Having an experienced J/70 sailor on board was ideal for us.
After a short discovery phase, this worked surprisingly well and we had no losses in terms of maneuvering and tactical issues. Only on the beast we couldn't keep up with more wind.
Because there were only two teams, we were able to get a taste of match racing for the first time. We eagerly tried to implement Roman's criticism and suggestions. We had countless (and sometimes really long) tacking and gybing duels, trying to prevent and control the other team. If you had just gained a decent lead and thought about sitting back and relaxing for a moment, you would hear the whistle, which means something like: “penalty turn and get behind, please.” So Roman managed to keep us very close.
This one week of training with two boats under the direction of Roman helped us a lot.
Practically all areas of a regatta could be covered and the two boats greatly improved our duel behavior and our ability to follow the rules... and of course our self-confidence.
Roman, thank you very much for your patience and constant encouragement
Anna and Paula
J-70 clinic Attersee, Austria
J-70 start-up training
How quickly a year goes by… Roman Koch coached the J/70 Kickoff Training at Attersee last season - in our opinion - successfully!
He placed great emphasis on boat handling, sharpened our eye for trim and introduced us amateur sailors to the art of tactics.
The three days in the SCK training camp went by far too quickly. The progress spoke for itself – enthusiasm among the teams. After several inquiries from interested sailors, we decided last fall to organize another J/70 training session at the Kammersee sailing club for spring 2019.
New training level: this time assistant coach Felix Kling (in addition to coach Roman Koch) was recruited for three days of “onboard coaching”. Felix - supervisor of the Lindau Bundesliga team - made his know-how available to the various training participants on board, so that small and sometimes large optimizations could be implemented under his direction.
To the training:
The coach showed no mercy for himself in the week of May, which was still quite cold in terms of weather. He sent us out on the water every day, which ultimately posed no problem at all if we were appropriately dressed. On the contrary... as long as the movement sequences on the buoys or during the maneuvers were trained, the crews were quite well tempered. We started in all weathers, although the temperatures on the coach boat were probably the worst when temperatures were below 10 C° and it was raining. No J/70 remained in the pits due to the weather, and no team wanted to miss any of the valuable information.
Like last year, the coach showed class. He managed to give all participants – no matter what level – the necessary input so that everyone could benefit.
He looked after us with his famous persistence – coupled with humor and empathy. Nobody was given preferential treatment, everyone received the precise information that would help their respective team make the most progress.
Training in a group naturally has its own dynamics. This meant, that those teams, that were not yet very experienced could lean on the more experienced teams.
In the evening, after a culinary refreshment, there were extensive analyzes. Presented and moderated by Roman, who documented the day's events on video... so that we could discuss the various situations together after the meal.
Works very well: the perspective outside our own boats provides information about the errors that need to be corrected. You learn from your own mistakes and those of others.
As already mentioned: sub-coach Felix accompanied us this year to ensure optimal support. He moved from boat to boat, where he addressed his knowledge and experience directly to the individual crew positions. Every move was analyzed and corrected if necessary.
This brought incredible safety in the handling of the J/70 and sharpened the senses for a fast-running sports device.
But of course, no master falls from heaven! It also takes a lot of motivation to keep getting up and keep going. Fortunately, this is much easier in a group – we motivate each other.
This is one of the aspects that really stood out to me in a positive way this year. On the water we fight each other by applying what we have learned - on land we exchange tips and suggestions on how this could be done even better next time.
Everyone had a lot of fun and the fear of unsuccessful maneuvers turns into ambition and adrenaline rushes.
Of course, the training also taxed the participants' strength. The rapid sequences of maneuvers and the sustained concentration require energy.
Good food is part of a balanced workout, which our chef Carlo conjures up on the table every day. You could tell from the satisfied faces that the participants of the training week had enjoyed themselves.
The feedback from the sailors also confirmed their well-being. Our “Unsink-BAR” offered an all-round service that lacked nothing. This meant we were able to start fit again the next day.
At the end of the training event, we had the opportunity to put what we had learned to the test in a two-day SP regatta.
To our delight, we were able to welcome Klaus Diem with his team “ROUND2” and the team “Beerli” from Lake Constance to the races. Local hero Bernhard Klinger (UYCAS) also entered the ring. Eight teams competed in wrestling together on the water.
Although the two Bregenz teams of Frederik Petersen and Bernhard Klinger were certainly the more experienced among the starters, it became clear that the remaining boats did not want to make life easy for them.
Getting this security comes down to practice. Everyone has learned. Because one thing is certain: (thank God) you NEVER stop learning - this also applies especially to those boats in the top ranks.
The potential to become a good sailor lays in everyone of us. To cut a rough diamond, you need an eye that recognizes each individual's abilities in order to get the best out of it.... Roman, thank you very much to you and Felix for this. For both the KickOFF and the TAKTIK Training.
Again and again – gladly again.
AUT1313 – “ILTSCHI”
Soling- clinic in Annapolis, USA
Who says Mountain Boys can’t sail? And teach others too… by Joe Brase
The Soling fleet is known for its fair share of talent. Last sailed in the Sydney Olympics, many of its top sailors are still active today. One of them visited SSA over Labor Day weekend to share his tricks and spread some fun (the picture says it all).
And before anyone ‘judges this book by its cover’, Roman Koch, long time Olympic team sailor, multiple World and European Champion, went on to win the US Championship and placed 4th at the recent Soling World Championship.
Roman started the two-day intensive fleet training in the classroom, followed by on deck maneuver illustration.
Then all went out, each team on their boats, with the coach boat following. Instruction and drills, until the cows came home. The camera captured all our sins, and accomplishments.
To be reviewed in the classroom and shared for future individual viewing. All left tired and happy. Some eager to leverage the newly acquired skills at the World Championship in Milwaukee. And all look back with a grin. This coach knows how to get one going. On the water and in the classroom. We will do it again.
From William Turner, Owner and Skipper of USA 831:
Sailing with a new team at the World Championship, I felt like the clinic was a great crash course in the Soling. Roman shared his wisdom after decades in the class and two world championships. The ability to see boat handling, sail trim, and tactics at play from a third party was a valuable tool. —Will
From Karin Olsen Campia, Owner and Skipper of USA 857:
The Soling Racing Clinic, conducted by Roman Koch was at a high level. He drilled all the teams multiple times, over a short windward leeward course. We tacked, jibed, did 360’s on his whistle. The spinnaker sets and takedowns became smoother and the mark roundings were less chaotic, after all the intense drills, towards the end of each day This helped to compress the teamwork so we worked quickly and more efficiently.
We also gained additional knowledge on the racing rules during the chalk talks. Roman took videos of each boat during the clinic which gave us all a better perspective on our sail trim and teamwork. It was lots of fun to learn so much in such a short period of time. Roman’s depth of knowledge and sense of humor made the clinic a very worthwhile experience! ---Karin
From Howard Vickery, Owner and Skipper of USA 835:
Roman conducted a superb master class for veteran Soling sailors. It is not often that four skippers are privileged to be tutored in the art of sailing by a multi-time World Champion. My crew and I benefited enormously from his on-the-water comments and suggestions on the fine-points of sail trim, rules and sail-handling. Roman has a wonderful teaching style. He imparts knowledge with a sense of humor. During the off-the-water video sessions, Roman had us rolling on the floor as he analyzed the abundant screw-ups at the starts and mark-roundings. I learned more in two days than I had in the last twenty-years of sailing. —Howard
From LeAnn Myhre, Middle Crew on USA 831:
On August 31st and September 1st SSA held a Soling Clinic with Roman Koch, a world-renowned sailor as our coach.
Since the wind was blowing with gusts up to 28K, Roman held a “chalk talk” we reviewed rules of racing and viewed film clips of Soling sailing events. Roman’s humor and expertise made this a valuable learning session.
Once we were on the water, Roman, with Joe Brase as his boat driver, cruised around the course, filmed us and gave us tips and corrections.
We discussed tuning the Soling and controls to make the boat go fast. The drills were great, giving us time to work on starts and strategy.
When we finished sailing on the second day, Roman showed the film clips of what we did right, and we laughed together at our mistakes.
This was an excellent clinic we all learned and had fun together. —LeAnn
From Henry Thomas, Owner and Skipper of USA 852:
My team and I thoroughly enjoyed working with Roman - and he works you hard. We must have done 30 nine minute sequences (3 min rolling practice starts with last one a short one lap race) over 2 days. Roman’s theory is you win races a quarter boat length at a time. Training together as a team for muscle memory choreography is the goal. We improved in each race at the Worlds and most importantly did it with a positive attitude all the way. Vielen Dank, Roman, und Auf Wiedersehen. ---Henry
Soling clinic at Starnberg, from Peter Siegel, Bowman on USA 852:
I participated in the Roman Koch sailing clinic at Starnberg for two days at the end of July and it was fantastic.
While I have been sailing and racing on lakes and offshore for over 50 years, I am new to the Soling fleet.
Roman's approach to teaching is masterful.
He is able to breakdown complicated maneuvers into simple steps. In two days, my team went from dancing with 2 left feet to smooth tango.
Throughout the entire clinic Roman used positive reinforcement and quick witted humor to challenge us to think about each maneuver and our approach. His goal is to keep it simple and he does.
This is a must clinic for any racer who wants to get a leg up on the competition and race better!
Soling training in Leipzig
Here I want FINALLY take the time to write down the feedback about our training. The weather in Leipzig isn't good enough for the beer garden anyway :-) I hope you're doing well!
To put it simple, our long anticipation of training with you was completely fulfilled!
Even though you certainly didn't have an easy time with our large field of participants with completely different sailing experiences, you always found individual approaches to strengthen each individual as a sailor and regatta participant.
Be it through anecdotes from your career as a professional sailor and international judge, suggestions for self-reflection or through direct instructions on maneuvers - the possibilities for learning-success are long.
Unfortunately, the end always comes faster than you would like, which is why we immediately decided to book more units with you.
In addition, I am very grateful to you for your dedicated help in connecting us with the Soling class regatta community so that we can continue to compete with others ,as our level of training increases.
Dear Roman, thank you very much for the tips, tricks and effort you put into our units. I hope to see you next week on the Attersee :-)
Many greetings from Leipzig, Timo
Training der Lago26
Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate, but thanks to Roman's always good mood also our mood remained good.
We found his coaching particularly valuable because he addresses critical points directly, but is very involved with the individual participants. He is very sensitive and finds the right words for each participant.
The technical competence is not in question anyway and on a personal level we really enjoyed sailing and training with him.
We are already looking forward to a sequel in 2020. Keywords: Lake Reschen and strawberry tiramisu.