Over the last five weeks I have competed in three major competitions and have faced some of the most challenging sailing I have done yet. The racing an Olympic year throws up is like no other and it’s amazing to compete against the best in the world and be exposed to their intensity. However, racing against such quality has it’s own problems, making the targets I’m striving to reach that much harder to attain. Not letting negativity and my own expectations weigh me down is one of the hardest parts of this game. Let’s go back to France.
Hyeres: The world Cup in France is one of the highest caliber events anyone can compete in on the tour and always delivers a wide range of conditions. This year was no different with the top 40 laser sailors in the world lining up on a windy first day of racing. After all the fitness training I had put in throughout the Australian summer and in Mallorca I knew I could be good in this condition. As it worked out I was first to the top mark in the first race and finished in 2nd. It was a good start and I backed it up with a 17th to be 8th overall after the first day of racing.
Things didn’t continue to go that way though as lighter conditions prevailed and I started to get caught up in the pack. I just couldn’t reset and find a way to solve the problems that I found myself in and had to settle for 24th overall, still my best result to date in France, but not what I had come for.
The next day I was driven to Nice where I spent a day seeing what the city had to offer before jumping on a plane to a completely new destination, Mexico. The weather was stunning with 26 degree water and a tropical atmosphere, it was a hard place not to like. Unfortunately the racing wasn’t as nice for me as I struggled to identify what the wind was doing consistently and the venue didn’t really allow for big come backs. I’m taking some hard lessons away from that event. After a quick but also long two weeks in Puerto Vallarta it was time to fly again, this time to the Netherlands.
I’ve always liked sailing in Medemblik, even though it’s freezing cold and grey most of the time, there’s something home like for me being back in the country. I had barely had time to get over my jet lag before I was out racing again and instead of sailing in 35 degrees I was sailing in 11, ouch. I won the first race and kept a pretty good consistency going throughout the regatta to find myself in third going into the medal race, just three points clear of fourth. On the day of the medal race I must of had someone looking out for me as I had so many fortunate situations go my way to defend my third place in a nail biting last run to the finish.
Now it’s onto Weymouth for me, the last of the major regattas before the Olympics kicks off and the last regatta of my European season. Can’t wait to get out there and give it another crack.