Sorry for the long delay in posts. I’m going to make a resolution to be more frequent with my updates. I’ve done quite a bit since my last post so I’m going to try and do my best to abbreviate all of this.
ISAF World Cup Weymouth: The second European world cup of the season and another chance to race the very best in the world. This was my first time in Weymouth and you could still feel the presents of the 2012 Olympics looming over the place. I was staying in a three story apartment with Mitch, Palky and Jez so it was going to be a good time. The weather really turned it on for us with hot sun and gentle wind making the sailing really enjoyable. That changed pretty quickly come day one of racing.
Unfortunately the event didn’t go my way. The execution was good and I had some great starts but I couldn’t find my way up the first beats very well and found myself on the wrong side too many times. We had two days of very tricky racing followed by a day of no sailing due to lack of wind. On the final day of racing we had three races scheduled to try and make up for lost time and a traditional SW breeze was blowing, the first time for the event. I had my best day yet finishing off the regatta with a 7th place finish to move up to 21st overall. The next day we watched on as Wearny battled it out to try and win the regatta only to see him fall just one point short of the regatta win. It was great to watch though and everyone was smiles still as he had achieved his first Olympic nomination. That evening I hit the road in what was about to become a hectic 48 hours.
Iceland & Toronto: After dropping my van off in Hanover with Karl I caught the first morning train at 5 am to get to Amsterdam by 11 am to get my flight at 1 pm to arrive in Iceland by 4 pm. Busy day but once Palky and Mitch picked me up it was all good. We had a sweet apartment in Keflavik, a town about 40 minutes away from the capital, Reykjavik. We spent two days in Iceland exploring the sights and natural wonders of the small island nation. We swam in the Blue Lagoon, looked at glaciers, walked behind waterfalls and had great time in general. It truelove was like nowhere I had been before. All too soon it was time to leave, this time headed to Toronto. When we arrived we were greeted with bright sun and a warm day, very different to the cold and grey of Iceland. We checked into our hostel, surprised by the size of the city, and went out to eat dinner on top of the CN tower, the highest tower restaurant in the world. It was a revolving restaurant and we got to watch the city move by as we ate our meal. I had never experienced anything like it. Breakfast in the Laundromat Cafe in Reykjavik to dinner in the CN tower in Toronto. What a day.
The World Championships: The next day we caught the 3 hour bus into Kingston, the lakeside university town where the 2015 Laser World Championships was to be held. The venue was amazing, I had rented out a small apartment for myself to live in, the sailing was good and it was nice to be racing in an English speaking country that wasn’t England for a change. I had never been to any of the Americas before so this was all a new experience for me. The training had gone great pre regatta and I felt like I had all the ingredients to perform well.
In the very first race of the worlds I sailed well to place 3rd but couldn’t quite back it up, having to settle for a 19th. Fun fact, I have placed 3rd in a race on the first day of every Open Worlds I have done, so that makes three years running now. After that the party ended. Day two was a nightmare with patchy 3 -5 knots of wind playing havoc with the fleet. It was doing my head in and I had two massive scores. My second race of the day took over 90 minutes to complete. We didn’t race the next day due to lack of wind followed by the same tricky conditions on the fourth day of racing. It was touch and go whether I was going to make Gold fleet but I pulled my ass out of the fire with a 5th in the last race of qualifying to place 45th going into finals racing. So far I have made Gold fleet at every Open Worlds I have entered but that was the closest I have ever come to missing out. Talk about stressful.
Now just remained the job of trying to move up the score board. Easier said than done I’m afraid. When guys like Robert Schiedt are just in front of you, you know the racing must be tough. The wind stayed much the same as it was though qualifying. Light, stable, patchy and impossible to pick. I had great starts but that didn’t mean much when you went the wrong way. To give you an example on the first day of finals racing you had to go left in the first race, right on the second race and left in the third race if you wanted to be near the front at the top mark. I went right, then left then right. The venue really was making life hard for me but I tried to keep a good attitude. In the end I placed 41st out of the 158 strong fleet. Not at all what I was after and the event really highlighted my weakness in that type of breeze. Time to forget about that though, it was time for a holiday. I was going to New York.
NY: I have never been to a city that can compare to New York but I have to say it was probably one of the coolest places I have ever been. The city was buzzing and we (Palky, Mitch and myself) did so much stuff in such a short space of time that I feel like I’m still processing what happened there. We had rented a small apartment for the week and spent every waking hour exploring what the city had to offer. We all felt by the end of it we needed a holiday from our holiday. Then I had to say goodbye to the boys as our pack was splitting up. Mitch was heading home, Palky onto DC and myself back to Europe to compete in the European Championships. It was starting to feel like the trip that never ended.
The Euros: Another new country ticked off the list, this time Denmark. I was staying in a small bungalow with Mark Spearman, my friend and training partner from WA who had come over for the regatta. I had had zero preparation for the event and my first day of sailing was the first day of the regatta. Somehow after the qualifying series I found myself in 6th place with one of the lowest score cards of the event. That was were it all started going wrong though and I had a nightmare finals series, seeing myself fall to 31st overall. I know why and I will never make that mistake again. I still found it a valuable event to have done and I look forward to correcting the issues that I have. I have more confidence than ever I just need make some adjustments.
What now? Now we have caught up to the present. I’m in a small B&B situated in the outskirts of The Hague enjoying some downtime and doing some things away from sailing. All too soon I’ll be in Medemblik helping the younger generation to perform at the 4.7 World Championships before returning back to WA for the first time in 7 months. Looking forward to it.