So quite quickly my first event of this 100 day adventure is over. The final 3 days in gold fleet went really quickly and were always jam packed from start to finish so keeping you all informed was almost impossible. Now I have some time to give you a recap on the events that occurred.
Day 3 was a complete wash out. We waited around on land for a few hours, then got on the water and waited around for another couple of hours. Then the wind finally did come in but it was too shifty to start a race in. Eventually we got a start away only to have the race abandoned. 5 hours on water and not a race to show for it. Safe to say it was tiring.
Day 4 was on from the beginning. Cold and windy with big wind shifts, rain and some of the largest swell I have ever sailed in. This would normally be my favorite conditions because its what I normally sail in back home and I love to work hard. This day though I just couldn’t get it right. I seemed to be on the wrong side of every shift even when my starts were good. My experience in top level big fleet racing is still limited and while I can definitely say I learnt a lot, I felt really disappointed with myself at the end of the day. I know I could have done better. Still, even when I am having bad results I still enjoy what I do and the epic waves we got to surf on the way in made the whole day worth it.
Final day of racing saw another new wind direction but yesterdays old swell was still hanging around. It created some really shifty and variable conditions with the wind blowing straight from the mountains. I had a good start in the first race but with the wind so up and down it was hard to consolidate it. The second race the wind became really light for the start and I got myself in a bit of a sticky situation with Robert Scheidt (the regatta leader) sitting just below me. We both had poor races which turned out to be UFD’s anyway, meaning we were caught over the start and disqualified. My final race, and the last race for the regatta was, at last, a good one. I had a good start and got the first shift correct to round the top mark in 4th and held onto 6th in the race. If only I could of had a few more of those.
In all the regatta was a lot of fun and I learnt heaps. I finished 45 overall. I was aiming a bit higher but the result definitely shows a big improvement on last year and shows that even when I’m not sailing my best I can still compete with the top guys. Now It’s recovery time before hitting up a big week of cycling in the mountains. Can’t wait.
Waiting for wind. A classic past time for any sailor and yesterday was another day to add to the memories. Spent most of the day in our apartment waiting for the AP signal to drop. Luckily it did and at 3.30 pm we all scrambled to get our gear together to hit the water. I was in Blue fleet again which gave me a bit of time to get organized before starting race 4. We had a really shifty and gusty 5 – 10 knots for both races and I knew consistency was going to be key to success with a big result already on the score board and only one drop.
First race I was away at the pin end and I was looking quite good but I just wasn’t patient enough for the final left hand shift and ended up rounding the top mid fleet. A good run and second beat saw me jump up to top ten only to watch myself lose it again on the final reach and run. Grrrrrr. Frustration. I finished 17th. In the second race the wind started to get really shifty but luckily for me I had spotted the new pressure on the right and was at the boat end. Unfortunately it didn’t matter because it didn’t seem to matter where you went on the beat as long as you came in from hard either side of the course at the top. I was was back in the fleet rounding the top but again I drew on a strong second beat to pull me back into the race. I placed 24th. A reasonable day but definitely not what I was looking for, especially since I felt I had so many opportunities to do better. At Least I made gold fleet though and am currently sitting in 47th overall. Many very good sailors didn’t make the top 60. Now the real work begins 🙂
The six P’s. Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. A more relevant statement could not be made when it comes to racing in Lasers. The lead in to this event has been long, having been away from home since the 9th of March, meaning I have done 3 weeks of travel and training without even doing a race. Long hours on the water and on the bike have put me in good shape though and after running around feeling a bit pressed for time in the measurement yesterday, finally, on the eve of the regatta I felt prepared. One thing a sailor can’t control though is the wind and we spent a good few hours waiting for it this morning. Luckily a light and very stable sea breeze developed allowing all 144 Lasers to complete 3 good races. I raced in the blue fleet and after a rattling first race, placing 42nd, I got my stuff together and placed 8th and 11th to put myself in 35th overall after day one. I’m happy that I managed to have a good come back from the first race and will just need to keep it solid tomorrow to qualify for the gold fleet. As a side note I’m super stoked for my training partner and room mate Jez (pictured above on the bike) for having a sick day and getting himself into 2nd overall. Good work bro! More racing tomorrow.
So I’m finally getting this blog under way. It’s been long anticipated and painfully draw out but I think I finally know enough about computers to do this. So in saying that I will keep it simple and quick. I am in Palma Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean where I will be competing in the first event on the European tour this summer, the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Palma. Let me start from the beginning.
Stickers going on well
I left Perth on the 9th of March headed for Amsterdam. Once in Holland I caught the 6 hour train to Hanover, west Germany, where I met up with a friend who has been looking after the van we will be using for the trip. By we I mean Mitchell Kennedy and Jeremy O’Connell, the two other Squad members who I will be travelling with for the duration of the 100 day adventure we decided to embark on. The trip will take us from Spain up to South France, across to Italy and finally finishing down in sunny Croatia. Once I had the van I drove back to Amsterdam to collect the guys before driving down to Rotterdam. The next day we collected the boats with a mix of other team members come to collect their gear. After a brief catch up lunch we hit the road. After 3 days and some bumps along the way we had arrived in sunny Palma. We have been here since the 17th of March and have been hitting training pretty hard. Cycling is great and it is a really constructive atmosphere on and off the water. Now it’s just about fine tuning the lead in to the event and making sure I’m hitting a peak when I start racing in the 150 strong fleet on the 31st. Should be fun 🙂