I left NZ in early April with my main objective to cram in as much racing as possible against the foreigners. Four regattas were on the schedule with the final regatta being the Laser Europeans Championships in Split.
I picked up my new Laser from Fos Sur Mer in France, and starting to get into training for the first event the ISAF World Cup in Hyeres. We had a mixture of conditions for the build up which was good, but the regatta was predominantly windy and from the same direction. I got better every day, and ended up finishing 18th, which was alright for the first hit out in Europe.
From France we headed to Lake Garda Italy, for a EUROSAF event. This was a much smaller regatta, but the location makes for a great training base aside from the 9degree water temperature. I had my best race of a 3rd on the last day, but eventually finished 14th overall. But it was all about the training here in Garda.
After a few logistical changes, I managed to get a ride for my boat up to Holland for the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Typically a very cold wet regatta, I had mentally prepared for the worst! But it was sunny and warm for the entire regatta which was awesome! Again a smallish fleet, but a really good fleet,with 2 Olympic Medallists and many of the top 10 in the world. I finished 11th and was happy with how things were progressing towards the European Champs.
I arrived to Split 10 days before the event, and began training with the two AUS girls and some local sailors. We had really good breeze and things were going well and was looking forward to racing. We managed 5 qualifying races, and I was 30th going into Gold fleet. Not exactly where I wanted to be but it was early days in the scheme of things. The forecast was looking horrible for the remainder of the regatta and I knew we wouldn’t get a full series. But I didn’t think we would only have one more race in total. We had one gold fleet race, which was sailed in a new direction of sea breeze, but half way through the race it went 40 degrees right, back to the old direction, so was a crazy race. The way laser regattas are run, it meant that we had to keep this race.
I finished the event 37th, and was hugely disappointed not to have a chance to move up with some more gold fleet races, but I was actually happy with how I was racing, although wasn’t showing it on paper!
So from now I am back in NZ for one month, little bit of R&R and heading out to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Test Event in Early August. After this I head to Europe for the ISAF world championships in September.
Big thank-you to all the club members who have supported my this year and while I was overseas. I am looking forward to racing hard at the next two events.