O'pen Bic Training Programme


We know first hand the importance of quality training before events and what is required to reach your goals. Together we have competed and delivered results at 4 different O’pen Bic World Championships and at almost every Australian and New Zealand Nationals nationals held to date. We are The Bic Brothers and we would like to share all our knowledge and experience of these boats with your budding sailor.

The OTB Training Program has been designed to prepare Bic sailors for the highest level of competition in the class, be that their nationals in New Zealand or a national championship internationally, right the way up to the world championships. This programme is limited to 10 sailors, we have found that this provides a great balance between one-on-one time with the coach and the competition you get on the water to push sailors and help develop their skills.


Basic description

A programme for the up and coming O’pen Bic sailors by the two that sparked it all and have been where you are right now.

Session location

Manly (may include other Auckland locations including Wakatere, Torbay, Murrays Bay and Gulf Harbour)


Sean Herbert is a two-time O’pen Bic World Champion at the 2012 World Champs in Miami at the age of 10 and the 2017 World Champs in Lake Garda, Italy with a dominant 19 point lead. He has won countless New Zealand and Australian titles over his years in the class. Since the O’pen Bic Sean moved into the Starling Class not only winning two national championships a feat only achieved by a handful of individuals but winning them in consecutive editions.

Liam Herbert has been there to push Sean the whole time. He has won several New Zealand and Australian titles in the O’pen Bic. In the 2017 Secondary Schools Teams Racing Interdominion Championship Liam led Wentworth College to a clean sweep over Austalia’s and New Zealand’s top teams, a victory never previously recorded. Liam now sails a Waszp and is set to head off to the 2019 Waszp Australian Nationals and the following 2019 Waszp World Championships in Perth in January. 

Our Aim

Following numerous encouraging inquiries, we started the OTB Program to prepare a small group of sailors for the O’pen Bic Worlds. After the positive response to the success of the OTB Training Programme we’ve run in the lead up to the 2019 O’pen Bic World Champs, we want to bring together a team of keen sailors who want to move into a competitive position in the fleet. We want to help motivated sailors see a significant improvement in thier bic sailing, if that fits your goals, this is the programme for you.


In the programme we aim to cover an extensive syllabus which will be tailored further to help the your sailor develop most effectively in preparation for the National Championship. Our targeted content is not purely an on-water boat handling, though of course it is a significant part, also aims to include other essential topics going into a significant regatta such as rules, tactics, mindset, preparation and setup. Below you will find an outlining of the areas aiming to be covered.


How should the controls be used to best control your boat and rigged to get the best out of each:

    • Vang
    • Outhaul
    • Cunningham & halyard
    • Other (centerboard, hiking strap…)


Don’t make a race an uphill battle from the start. Getting your starts sorted gives you the best opportunity to secure good standings in any regatta:

    • Planning
    • Positioning
    • Timing


Often a very long and tiering part of a race, getting the technique sorted to make this an easier part of the race gives you more time to think tactically and increases your endurance to get through a long day/regatta:

    • Tacking (Rolling, speed, weight, sheeting, timing)
    • Hiking
    • Steering (pressure, waves, other boats)
    • Sheeting


Though downwind is seen as the easier part of the race course there are substantial opportunities to make gains on your competition. Minimizing mistakes is critical as small mistake often result in a larger loss of ground and provides a big setback you don’t want in the middle of your race:

    • Gybing (Rolling, speed, weight, sheeting, timing, centerboard)
    • Surfing
    • Canting
    • Soaking


Tactics can help a lot to get you back in the game and keep you ahead in a race. Even small changes can add up to a sizable change in performance:

    • Round marks
    • Course Bias


These parts are important for keeping you in good from and not having unnecessary issues during your regatta:

    • Rules
    • Care and maintenance
    • Rigging splicing
    • Essential knots
    • Journaling
    • Regatta Management (The mindset behind how to approach races)

The coaching is very much sailor driven in a way which a sailors feedback and journaled development point are focuses of the following session so you can see you are progressing in a pathway that fulfills you. As aforementioned we don’t cover everything exclusively in the training session but also bridge together session with exclusive content on our team portal, a library where debrief notes, video clips, guides and more are available and will continue to be added to over the course of the programme.  


We couldn't recommend highly enough

“Our son has been part of Liam’s OTB coaching group for the last 6 months. We couldn’t recommend Liam highly enough as a coach and sailing mentor.  Liam has a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on and with his calm and friendly approach is able to relate and communicate extremely well on and off the water.  The OTB Hub provides a further off the water aspect to Liam’s coaching with video and personalised tips and pointers following each session. We have been extremely impressed with the program Liam has developed for his OTB Team and his willingness to understand and accommodate the individual goals and needs of each sailor in his group.”
-Greg & Delayne Salthouse

Dedicating time to talk 1 on 1

Really appreciated Liam’s efforts with kids dedicating time each day to talk with them 1 on 1 about their day
-Stu Clarke


As a member of the OTB Team you will be eligible for a 25% discount on gear and equipment from OTB Marine New Zealand. We are working to secure further sponsorship and a putting together a team kit.


The training programme has been broken down into two options for the number of sessions to provide you with the commitment level suitable for you and timetable and to compete in more regattas as you choose. Option 2 is the more flexible choice allowing you to choose which sessions you come to and which you miss. Option 2 is the all in option giving you the ability to do every weekend on the schedule.


We hope you like our plan and would like to join us for this great program. If you would like to register your interest, great! Please complete this short form (linked here) and we will finalise your registration with you pending numbers. Thank you!