October 2017 Blog

On the 14th and 15th of October I was at Hayling Island Sailing Club for Ladder 3, which was also the 1st qualifier for the European Championships in 2018. There was light winds all weekend.  There was a long sail out to the race course which took us about an hour to do in the light winds.  On the first day we had 3 races in which i came 28th, 36th and 36th again out of 39 which was ok considering there was lighter winds which I need to get used to and become better in. On the Second day we did 3 races again in which I came 26th, 30th and 28th.  I was happier with this as there was slightly stronger winds than the previous day which meant my height helped me when leaning out the boat, without de-powering the sail like the smaller people had to a little.

On the 21st and 22nd of October I was at Weir Wood Sailing Club for UKLA training.  On the 21st there was over 30 knots of wind with the gusts and about 25 knots without gusts, but we still went out for the morning and a wind meter read 40 mph wind! This made for great sailing practise and I learned a lot about high wind sailing.  This helped my confidence a lot as my confidence wasn’t great in strong wind after the European Championships and The Nationals.  In the afternoon we did classroom work thinking about what controls to change to get that extra bit of speed.  We then went down to a boat to see minor things we can change to make our sailing easier and better. This was a challenging day because of the strong winds.  At one point all the other sailors had gone in off the water, and I was the only one who stayed out.  This gave me the opportunity for some one on one training and I got great feedback off the coaches.

On the 22nd we went out in the morning and there was about 20-30 knots of wind with about 30 knot gusts.  This was great experience and again good learning for keeping the boat flat and fast to get the most speed.  We did rabbit runs and we then went to the top of the lake where there was about 10-15 knots of wind. The wind was shifting and we did a race which I won due to picking the better side to anticipate the shift in the wind. I was really pleased with my performance as I beat people who I hadn’t been able to beat previously. . We then sailed down back to the sailing club doing down wind speed which meant we sailed very fast. In the afternoon we went out for a further 3 races around a fairly large course.  I finished 3rd overall after the 3 races which I was very happy with. This weekend of training helped my confidence great amounts and taught me a lot about sailing in strong wind and how to go faster without hurting yourself.  I am looking forward to the next Ladder event next month to put into practice what I have learned.

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