“We put all the training into practice and won the J97 champs and IRC too… Best news was we also won the J cup for best overall performance at the regatta. So a big thanks for all the input, you were with us all the way.”
I only knew of Mark as the man who wrote THE book everyone reads when they take up racing. Then I found we could retain him for personal coaching – Wow! Mark has done two regattas with us and some single training days for the Class (Solent Sunbeams). He has made every element of training and practice valuable yet fun. He always has the perfect anecdote for every occasion and can improvise a training opportunity out of nothing.
What have I taken from our time with Mark? The confidence that we can work out what to do using some basic Rushall principles. He made us focus on what is going to really make a difference in any specific race or part of a race. And concentrate on what will create speed or advantage in that particular situation – i.e. to prioritise. Often he helped us not to try to be too clever. For example, when on a run in Chi harbour, if there’s no clear advantage left or right, just go straight! Simple but often forgotten. Mark, please come and sail with us again soon!”
We didn’t do as much sailing before the Worlds as in previous years, mainly due to family and work commitments, but every day we sailed we made sure counted. We have also being sailing together for seven years now and that makes our communication in the boat strong.
However, the big turning point was definitely a coaching day with our ‘Coaching God’, Mark Rushall. He identified some issues in how we were setting up the rig and some shoddy techniques I had developed over the years. Those improvements not only made us faster, they also gave us a lot of belief in ourselves.
“Mark Rushall has been training us, Oman Sail, on the Tour Voile. We are a mixed crew of professionals and Omani sailors learning offshore racing. Mark has been really valuable for me as a skipper, to help have a clear view on situations. He’s always been very clear in his observations.
Mark also trained the Omanis on their 100% Omani regatta and he was also onboard with them on two occasions. Mark’s approach does fit well with the Omani mentality, as any learner, they need very simple explanations and tips. They also need someone who can say straight forward things with a gentle way – this is probably something that is one of Mark’s biggest characteristics. Thank you Mark, for your very valuable work with us.”
“Working with Mark Rushall has made the biggest difference to our campaign, even bigger than all our technical projects put together! Behind the scenes, there is no one that goes above and beyond like he does. Mark inspires me to think outside the box, pushing me tactically whilst being supportive all at the same time! Without him, I don’t know where I would be, and someday I hope I can finally be mini Mark!!”
“The cool thing about working with Mark is that his broad based knowledge is second to none. Without a doubt one of the best coaches around. I know James and Frances (Peters) have always really benefited from working with him.
The Smart RS coaching DVD that Mark has produced recently for RS have really hit the spot. To my mind, Mark’s innate understanding of boats and rigs sets him apart, and with both huge experience in the racing dinghy business, and a cracking record of championships under his belt. He is never short of an opinion and always worth listening to!”