The whole trip to Mallorca went so well, it went almost too well. Being gold with Qantas has made life a dream at airports. I get the privilege of using the lounges anywhere I go and for the first time ever I got a shower at my stop in Dubai on my way to Barcelona. It was epic! Spent the in a hotel with Richo in Barca before jumping on a 20 min flight to Mallorca. All my bags made it, I got into my Airbnb smoothly and all was looking good.
The boys (Mitch and Wearny) showed up a day later after driving from Belgium with the team van and trailer. Spent a sunny Monday morning setting up my boat then hit the water for a quick session. I sailed everyday from Monday to Friday as well as getting a few good training rides in. My speed was proving pretty good and I was at the front more than not, especially in the big breeze. I’ve found a new gear in my heavy wind sailing which is exciting. Everything looked great.
Then the regatta started. Now I’m not going to say things went poorly or anything like that. I actually felt like I was sailing really well but with a massive 183 boat fleet in three fleets and only 4 races to make it into finals you had to have some single digit scores on your card. I didn’t. Some mistakes and poor execution at critical moments paid me bad tenfold and I finished a brutal qualifiers in 78th. Ouch! Unlike other years though where a result like this would normally carry a lot of negative emotional baggage I took it in my stride and continued trying to carry out the highest standard I could each day. The weather turned from light and fickle to 20-25 knots the next day and although it sucked to watch the gold fleet go at it in conditions I do well in I made the most of my time in silver fleet and got two wins.
The wind turned a bit mixed for the rest of the event and I worked as hard as I could on what I needed to work on, mainly starts and first beats. I finished up second in silver fleet. Obviously not what I wanted but I’m taking away some valuable lessons in what I need to focus on and how I need to focus to do well. This time I just didn’t put my energy in the right places.
After the event I watched the medal race and went to diner with the team to celebrate Wearny winning the regatta. I took some time to debrief appropriately after the event was done then as tradition states hit the mountains for some cycling. We had a great group to ride with and the sun shining so I started big and did 124 km with over 3000 m of climbing. It was an epic day and I only ran out of fuel on the last climb. From the time we left the cars to the time we returned was over 9 hours. We drove home in the dark and all went to Cuban bar for some rollos (sort of like a rolled pizza). The next day we did the lighthouse ride which I had never done before. It was stunning but I was definitely feeling the fatigue from the day before.
After I had cleared my head on the bike it was time to knuckle down and get back in the boat. There was a great group of South Americans training daily so I joined in with them and punched out some good hours on the water. I’m up to my fifth day on the water in a row today and I’ll do one more tomorrow before I jump on the ferry to Barcelona on Wednesday to start the drive to Hyeres on Thursday. The World Cup in Hyeres is one of my target events for the year and I’m aiming for a top 10 finish. This seems really far fetched now after this first event but I am fully confident that if I bring my A game it is within my reach. Let’s just wait and see…