Last weekend I participated in my first ever ABK clinic and to be honest, I went in as a skeptic. I've learned how to waterstart/footstraps/plane with decent speed and even stay dry on some jibes without any formal instruction in my *cough* several years of sailing. In the past couple years I've stagnated at a sailor, but I would mainly attribute that to little time on the water and getting a bit too satisfied just tacking my way through life when I actually got out.
But I decided that this year was going to be different. I'm finished with my plateau and I'm going to get to that elusive "next level". I started a blog to document my trials and tribulations, opening myself to the sharp-tongued criticism of anonymous internet meanies. This year, I'm going to raise myself up to the level of mediocrity if it kills me. So I shelled out enough cash to buy a sail and took the class. We got really lucky with the wind (peaked at 20-25 every day) so I would have just paid for the wind if that's how it worked. So here's what I think about ABK:
Andy is really friggin' good at what he does. And he works his ass off. He's got the people thing down. He remembers names. He gives criticism without sounding like a jerk. The lectures were, surprisingly, not boring and sucky (and I've got serious ADD). Understanding the concepts behind the jibe actually made a big difference for me. Having someone on the water as you went through jibe attempts at first seemed like information overload, but it actually made a big difference in the end.
I actually planed out of a couple in the end, my carve and entry work a lot better now and I'm staying dry quite a bit. Overall, I think the camp was a huge success for me(granted we got really lucky with consistent wind... I might have killed someone if we had spent any more time doing lightwind freestyle). I would recommend ABK to anyone. I think it easily saved me a year in my jibing learning curve.
Also, on the last day I got to see Andy and Matt Case doing a freestyle session right next to the beach at the Hatteras Island Sail Shop. Loops, Spock 540s, willy skippers, and many more aerials I didn't recognize. It was pretty awesome to see and it definitely inspires me to suck less, which is always good.