> US SAILING Media > Sailor of the Week > 2013 > Sailor of the Week - April, 2013 > Jorge Martin de Nicolas
Jorge Martin de NicolasSailor of the Week: April 11-17, 2013
For the past several years, Jorge Martin de Nicolas has organized and run the Austin Yacht Club (AYC) Racing School. The school is designed to teach the beginners the basics and get them started in racing.
This program began as a way to build the crew pool for the J/24 fleet. However, the program has grown to include other one-design and PHRF fleets at AYC, such as J/22s, South Coast 21s, Catalina 22s and Ensigns.
During a typical race day at AYC, boats are launched at around 12:30 pm for 1:30 pm racing. The racing school launches at around 10 am for practice, instruction and preparation.
“Our program has added new members to our club and other clubs in our area,” said Jorge. “It has also provided a large pool of enthusiastic new sailors who are now crewing regularly on many of the boats at our club.”
Here are a few goals of the racing school:
- Introduce new people to the sport of sailboat racing
- Allow students to progress at their own rate
- Provide an avenue for beginners to learn everything they need to learn in order to buy a boat and start sailing
- Allow established teams to practice together and to train potential new crew members prior to actual AYC races
- Allow regular crew members to learn different positions
- Allow skippers who may not have a full team to train new crew members and invite them to join the team
- Provide a pool of potential new crew members for the benefit of other AYC skippers who may need extra crew
- Provide an avenue for overall improvement for all AYC sailors by providing opportunities for sailors to ride on different boats, so we can all share our collective knowledge
“One of my favorite stories is from a student who lives in Stephenville, Texas, almost three hours north of Austin,” started Jorge. “There isn't much sailing activity in her town, so Becky drove countless times to Austin in order to take our sailing classes. After a couple of months she bought a little dinghy to sail in a lake near her town. She is so excited about sailing that she wants to start a sailing festival at her lake.”
For more information on how you can implement this type of program at your club, review this presentation that Jorge gave at US Sailing’s 2010 One-Design Sailing Symposium.