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    Team Canada sailing coach bringing intensity to Chestermere athletes

    Team Canada sailing coach bringing intensity to Chestermere athletes pic 3

    The Calgary Yacht Club Masters Group members gained a higher level of intensity during a two-day training session with Brain Todd. The session was an opportunity for athletes to get back onto the water, and learn some new skills that they can bring into the upcoming season. Photo by Emily Rogers

    Retired team Canada Coach, Brian Todd prepared the Calgary Yacht Club Masters group for the upcoming season through sailing drills and races from May 23 to May 24.

    “The Masters, in particular, had wanted to get a little different coaching for a change,” Todd said.

    During the two-day training session, the athletes gave everything they had on the water.

    “Everybody worked so hard. They were all keen, I threw a lot at them on the water, and they responded awesomely,” Todd said.

    The sailors did a great job working the boats and planning ahead during times with light wind.

    Having the opportunity to be coached by Todd was a way for Chestermere sailors to knock the rust off from the long winter, said Calgary Yacht Club member Stephen Reichenfeld.

    “[Todd] is one of the best in the world, and he was kind enough to come out and help us to pick up our game,” Reichenfeld said.

    It was important for Reichenfeld to bring Todd to Chestermere to help improve the level of competitive drive the sailors have.

    “We’re pretty good sailors, but our level of competitive drive could be improved on,” Reichenfeld said.

    Reichenfeld added that Todd brings a high level of competitiveness because he has coached top level athletes.

    For Calgary Yacht Club member, David Elliott, the training session with Todd was fantastic.

    “It was one of the best sessions I’ve ever had,” Elliott said. “Whenever the wind changed, Todd was able to change the drills quickly, whereas coaches with less experience struggle.”

    Moving forward, Elliott wants to continue to practice the skills he has acquired, with a new outlook.

    Chestermere resident and 2011 Women’s World champion Lesley Reichenfeld took away new skills, as well as a sense of comradery and excitement for the upcoming sailing season.

    “It was really-really good, but it was challenging,” Lesley said.

    “I could feel myself getting better. I kept the boat flat more, I could see the difference in my starts, and I thought with my head outside of the boat.”

    Lesley conquered other challenges while out on the water, including depowering the sail quickly when the wind came up, and keeping up with the other boats with larger sails.