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Cadiz with GBR Radial

over 5 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

Day 1 of the Andalucia Regatta here in Cadiz.

Overcast and light winds forecast, but big swell from the previous days, so racing will be tricky.

Im coaching Chloe Martin and will be good to see her put the training into practice.

Good fleet of sailors here for the first european regatta of the season.

Happy sailing.


Hugh Styles Appointed As World Youth Sailing Trust Coach

over 8 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

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ISAF is delighted to announce that Hugh Styles (GBR) has been appointed as the World Youth Sailing Trust’s coach and will be present at the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Zadar, Croatia to coach sailors on ISAF’s Athlete Participation Programme.
Styles, who finished sixth in the Tornado at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, has 20 years of elite level competitions experience and will bring invaluable knowledge to the sailors who are selected as part of the Athlete Participation Programme.

“I like to think I can be a role model to the youth sailors,” said Styles. “I’ve come from a background of sailing in the Laser but I have experience in two person dinghies and catamarans as well. In each of those areas I have been able to achieve a really high level.

”I’ve won medals at World and International Championships and been successful in teams in the Extreme 40s and races like the Sydney to Hobart.“

The sailors on the Athlete Participation Programme will be able to benefit from Styles’ extensive knowledge and experience of Olympic Sailing and coaching.

Having coached a wide spectrum of athletes ranging from Optimist sailors to Olympic athletes and professional sailors, who have gone on to achieve domestic and international success, Styles plans to bring the athletes together before the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds.

”The focus is to try and connect with all of the participants before the event. There is a massive opportunity to use technology and establish links with people through social networking websites such as facebook and twitter.

“I would like to be in a position that when we come to the event we are not meeting people for the first time. Social networking is a massive benefit and the forum side of it will help us build towards the 2011 Youth Worlds and onwards.”

The 36-year-old from Poole, Dorset is a Royal Yachting Association qualified Level Three Racing Coach. From 2003-2004 Styles was the RYA Hobie 16 Class Coach and focused on a squad of eight sailors who delivered an ISAF Youth Worlds gold medal for Great Britain.

With a strong coaching methodology and success in the past Styles already has plans and goals in place for the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds.

“We are looking to give everybody the best opportunity to achieve their ultimate goals and personal bests. Whether it is to just be in every race, place in the top ten or win the regatta it doesn’t matter. It is about allowing people to achieve their personal goals and the way we measure is through our coaching approach.

”This will focus on the individual with an initial assessment period before the event via social mediums to see what their needs are. Having done that we can benchmark their aims and objectives.

“When we come out of the event they will have an individual legacy that will help to positively contribute to their learning and improvement in the future. Through the opportunities they have had at the event the sailors will be able to have a structure going forward and will ultimately help them become the next Olympians, America’s Cup Sailors or Round the World Yachts people.”

The ISAF Youth Worlds take place from 7-16 July in Zadar, Croatia this year and Styles is looking past this year’s event and focusing on the long term legacy.

“I hope that in the next 5-10 years we can raise the game of youth sailing internationally and with the ever increasing ability to get online more people will be able to see what is going on in real time.

”The legacy of this event is really important because it builds into our sport. The ISAF Youth Worlds can help us develop links with the emerging nations in Asia, Africa and South America and from there we can build more opportunities for these countries to become even more successful."
On the appointment of Hugh Styles, World Youth Sailing Trust Chairman Carlos Ribeiro Ferreira said, “The World Youth Sailing Trust look forward to working with Hugh as we continue to support young sailors from emerging nations at the ISAF Youth World Championships.

”Hugh has fantastic credentials both as a competitor and as a coach and through his experience we hope to achieve the Trust’s aim of ensuring young sailors return home after the ISAF Worlds enriched by the experience."


ISAF Youth Worlds Site

ISAF Youth Worlds Facebook Page

ISAF Youth Worlds Twitter Page

World Youth Sailing Trust Microsite

Other images included with this entry..

Styles steers China Team to Bronze in Oman and Asian Extreme Sailing Series

over 9 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

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The Muscat regatta was only the third regatta for the China Team who stepped up their game for this the final event of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia raced in Oman, it came down to the wire on the last day with the podium positions going in favour of Oman Masirah followed by the Wave and then China Team, the nock on effect of this was an incredibly tight finish in the overall standings with the China Team and The Wave on equal points behind Masirah for the overall Asian title.

This three-event Asian tour has seen many familiar faces from the European tour, such as, double Olympic Gold Medalist Shirley Robertson, solo round the world skipper Nick Moloney and European Champion Pete Cumming, whilst newcomers Thierry Barot skippering The China Team with Helm Hugh Styles, Mainsheet man Tan Wearn Haw and Trimmer Adam Piggott, and Roman Hagara on Red Bull Extreme Sailing have gone from a ‘standing start’ to put in an awesome performance, pushing the more seasoned racers all the way.

The Asian circuit kicked off in Hong Kong, then Singapore before ending here in Muscat at a full public event:

“It was very impressive, right in front of the public but still this sport is very intense, delivery is very high in terms of tactics and strategy. I really believe it is the future of sailing,” said China Team skipper Thierry Barot. “This is what sailing needs in term of development – the Extreme Sailing Series is a sport in itself.”

At the start of the fifth and final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia Muscat event there were a few worried and tense looking sailors on the dockside – the wind was blowing over 20 knots and the anticipation of some tense battles ahead only heightened the stakes. Thierry Barot’s China Team and Paul Campbell-James and the crew on The Wave, Muscat were on equal points at the start of racing with Masirah just one point behind and it was clear this was where the battle for the podium would be taking place.

Red Bull Extreme Sailing who suffered a capsize yesterday were just one point ahead of Nick Moloney’s BT, whilst Shirley Robinson on Rumbo Almeria knew she could play catch up if things went in her favour. The scene was set for an awesome display of Extreme racing.

As the local crowds gathered on Al-Hail beach for the final day of the ‘Extreme Beach Party’, racing got underway with two rounds of ‘speed runs’.
The reefed Extreme 40s relished these high-speed conditions courtesy of the 20+ knots of north-westerly wind, and flew down the windward/leeward course flying the hulls in front of the packed VIP platform.

As the wind dropped to around 10 knots, the huge mainsails were hoisted to the top of the masts, and fleet racing began. The Oman Sail boats led the way – first place for The Wave, Muscat and second for Masirah. China Team finished fourth place behind BT, putting them 6 points behind leaders. Another drama for Red Bull as their mainsail came tumbling down mid-race. They quickly hoisted a man of the mast to sort it out and were back racing in time for the penultimate race.

The pressure was at the max… The skippers jostling for position on the short start line – Paul Campbell-James misjudged the start and was over the line, forcing him to restart as their teammates sailed away to snatch the race. China Team got caught up at the start in the first two races, and allowed the Oman boats to pull ahead on the leaderboard. But the double-points final race was coming up…

Only just enough wind remained to propel the boats over the line. Hugh Styles takes up the story: “We knew it was tight on points with BT the Wave and Masirah so we had to keep out of trouble. But as the warning signal fired the wind dropped rapidly making for very unstable sailing conditions, we decided to start on port, got control over BT and all was good, until Almeria came speeding in with kite up and sailed over the top of us taking our wind and forcing us down the line towards starboard tack Masirah and the committee boat. Almeria had to avoid Masirah and in doing so sailed straight into the anchor warp of the committee boat and parked, we squeezed round the melee and were off! Masirah had the upper hand to lead off the line with us and BT neck and neck and the others parked. We pressured BT on the run and overtook them to finish 2nd from The Wave 3rd and BT 4th.

It was a superb end to a fantastic inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia. Only in a few months time, the Extreme Sailing Series European circuit will be starting – we can’t wait!

Extreme Sailing Series Asia : Muscat
1st Oman Sail Masirah, 103 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat, 101 points
3rd China Team, 91 points
4th BT, 84 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 71 points
6th Rumbo Almeria, 70 points

Extreme Sailing Series Overall:
1st Masirah, 18 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat, 11 points
3rd China Team, 11 points
4th BT, 10 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 8 points
6th Rumbo Almeria, 5 points

Associates: Sailing Networks

Skiff racing Sydney Harbour Style

over 10 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

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Sailing in Sydney Harbour one of the greatest sailing venues in the world is an amazing experience and this weekend saw the culmination of one of the toughest regattas ive been involved in, and in the long history of the JJ Giltinan event.

The title was won by Euan Mc Nicol, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas (Southern Cross Construction) on the very last run of the last race of the regatta, in an amazing race, where the whole fleet seemed to be playing a game of snakes and ladders (rather than sailboat racing) as they raced around the course over the 4 laps of the race.

I have been out in Australia over the last few months, getting away from the UK winter. It seemed silly not to have a try on an 18ft Skiff. The class is world renown for being spectacular in the traditional fresh windy conditions Sydney Harbour usually throws at you. But this week the weather gods did not play ball and the regatta was dominated by light and fickle conditions most of the week.

Just after the start of the new year I was down at the 18 Footer league skiff sailing club in Double Bay, and filled in sailing one of the weekly Sunday races. I loved it, the speed and the unstable nature of sailing these overpowered sailing machines was intoxicating.

Now some 7 weeks later I’ve just finished my first ever 18ft Skiff regatta and its been an awesome experience. I’ve learnt a massive amount about how to sail these monstrous boats, from wave jumping downwind on the Harbour in a fresh North Easterly wind at break neck speed, to tippy toeing around the boat yesterday afternoon in a fickle East North Easterly.

I raced with the Fisher and Pykel team and were very fortunate to get involved in a training group with one of the best Skiff sailing teams out there “Gotta Love it 7” sailed by Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Tom Clout. They and their coach Andrew Palfrey were great to work with fast tracking our learning, helping us develop good boat speed in a matter of a couple of weeks. A big thanks to them and also to Michael Coxon from North Sails who helped me understand the nuances of the 18ft Skiff rig tuning. Without your help then we would not have come anywhere near as far as we did in such a short time.

For the Fisher and Pykel team the worlds was rollercoaster. Andy Cuddihy the skipper came down with a really nasty flu virus just a few days before the start of the regatta. The effects of this lasted the length of the regatta, which was hard as we had put a lot into our preparations for the worlds. Even with this we started the regatta well with our best result of the week a 4th.

The next few days saw some tough racing and we duked out a few results around 8th. Unfortunately we had some very bad luck on the 4th heat when sailing out to the start of the race we found we had a knot in the spinnaker halyard inside the mast, as this could only have been from the halyard twisting we though we could get it out on the water. How wrong we were and ended up with a massive knot which we couldn’t untie until we came ashore and took the mast out of the boat. Unfortunately this gave us our drop race and put the pressure on for the rest of the regatta. We never really recovered from this and in the end finished up the regatta in 14th overall.

Its been an amazing experience for me sailing these boats and learning many new skiff sailing skills. Many thanks to Gill for your support of my sailing the kit ive been using. Especially the gloves, without which I would have no fingers and hands left. For the rash vests, which you’ll see in the picture, are now rather sun bleached but still holding up well from the rigours of getting bashed about on a skiff. Then to Andy and Mike for having a Pom on the skiff, thanks its been a good journey.

Now looking to the future Im preparing for this years forthcoming projects. There will certainly be plenty of catamaran sailing, on F18 and others (watch this space). Ill be sailing with the Atomic team on the Farr 45 in the Solent like last year, and we have big plans ahead for this team. But im definitely not looking forward to the temperature change from here back to Europe.

All the best and thanks to my sponsors for their support, looking forward to catching up with everyone at the Dinghy show at Alexander palace in early March.

Sydney Harbour skiff sailing

over 10 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

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Sydney Harbour and sailing just go hand in hand, so whilst here for a while over the European winter i’ve had the chance to do plenty of different types of sailing. From 70 ft yachts racing twilight series round the harbour. To sailing Formula 18 catamarans offshore from Sydney in the Southern Ocean, then racing 18ft skiffs in and out of all the weekend pleasure craft traffic in front of the harbour brigde for the last few Sunday afternoons.

Sailing here is pretty hectic on a weekly basis this is the flow of events:
Sunday afternoon, skiff sailing with the Fisher and Pykel team in preparations for the JJ Giltnan (worlds) in 2 weeks.
Monday evening I steer a yacht called Kiribilli, a lovely 40 footer for twilight racing from the CYCA (Cruising Yacht Club Australia) with a load of the skiff sailing boys.
Tuesday is skiff training on Fisher and Pykel with the Seven skiff sailing team.
Wednesday can be more yacht racing from the CYCA this is the booze cruise round the harbour.
Thursday more skiff training and then this Friday is the Skiff leagues twilight race starting at 1745.
Saturday off and then Sunday skiff sailing again.

I am mainsheet hand on the Fisher and Pykel boat and its going well so far. We have steadily improved over the last couple of weeks and on current results i think we will be a bit of a dark horse for the worlds which start on the 14 feb in double bay. Watch this space.

All the best for now.


Day 1 F18 worlds Yeppooon AUS

over 12 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

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Today saw the first race proper for the worlds, with a 77 boat fleet from countries as far afield as Chile to Belgium. It was windy as today, a big surf to get through when leaving the beach. Its good that the beach is very soft sand, it means that you dont have so much of a worry when you are getting into the surf. At least the boat doesnt get too scratched and at least everyone is in the same position.

The conditions looked worse than they were and on the Hugh wind speed guestimation gauge i think it was 15 – 25 knots depending on gust or lull. However, the waves were whoppers, with the downhill ride being a full roller coaster affair. it often felt like it was too full on. I had a number of situations where i thought we just couldnt avoid the next wave on the downhill ride. We would pile headlong into the next wave, everything would load up, stretch and if it was a really big wave Tom, my crew would stagger forwards a bit. Fortunately for him he was held firm by his chicken line (retaining line, attached to the rudder fittings to stop him getting thrown forward during a nose dive).

We were a bit unfortunate with our race as we approached the leeward mark getting the kite down, it went over the front of the pole as we turned into the wind. This lead to all sorts of issues as we couldnt get the kite down after that and had to retire from the race. Gutted.

Back on the beach we heard of tales of woe as the stories of peoples wipe outs and crashes spread like wild fire. It was a day with a few injuries to people and boats, but fortunately most of the injuries were only superficial and the boats have all been mended now and will be fine for the morning. We have a 4 race schedule tomorrow, first start 10am. it will be a good busy day as the forecast is for at least as much wind as today. Hopefully people will have learnt how to deal with the conditions better and we will get more races in. It was probably good for most of the fleet that racing was abandoned after the 1st race, breakages could then be fixed.

We decided that a bit more practice was in order for Tommy and I to get used to the Nacra we are sailing here. It was the boat handling we needed to get sorted. So we went out and did another hour of tacking, gybing, windward and leeward mark roundings. This was great as it made us sort out the routines, especially for the windward and leeward marks. I came off the water feeling like we had really pushed ourselves on and have made some big gains for our racing tomorrow. Good job that we went out practicing, because we had a bit of a gear failure issue with Toms trapese harness breaking.

So all sorted with a good nights sleep ahead now and looking forward to getting into the racing tomorrow.

The first of many Hugh's news

over 12 years ago by Hugh Styles | permanent link | comments (0)

Today has been a busy day tidying up all the loose ends here in Weymouth.

I have also hooked myself up with all of the organisation with the Sailing Networks team, which is all very exciting.

I have the weekend up in southampton and then fly out to Australia from Heathrow on Sunday night.

All the best for now.


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