Since my last update, I've had an incredibly productive and rewarding few months!
After training in Poland for the first part of May, I competed in the Polish National Sailing Organization Championship, where I placed 2nd. It was mostly a windy event which reinforced the big wind skills I've been working on and it was good to see my hard work finally start paying dividends.
The crazy part of this event was the 24 hours that followed the conclusion of racing. Due to a bit of a logistical oversight on the part of the organizing authority, the regatta ended only 36 hours before the start of the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, meaning that out of the following 36 hours, 16 were to be spent driving. Thankfully, I had a buddy with me and we managed to drive through the night and arrive in the morning, worn down and exhausted. This sprint across Europe led me to get pretty sick for the event, which definitely impacted my performance. I still made Gold fleet which I am incredibly happy about, as it was a tough event, but I know I could've finished better overall had I been healthy. To give you an idea of how bad it was, I was often having to stop hiking or hike less upwind because I couldn't catch my breath. I definitely learned some hard lessons about stacking events too close together and sailing sick due to this entire experience.
After racing was over in Medemblik, I had an incredibly fun week of R&R which started with a couple hours visiting my Aunt in Rotterdam. After an amazing dinner and a fun morning exploring the Netherlands by bike, I caught a fight home and then spent a week seeing friends, picking up a new boat, and packing for the summer out west.
After a cross country drive I kicked off my summer with the Laser Pacific Coast Championship in Ventura, CA. Although I showed incredible downwind speed across a wide range of conditions, I sailed the event a little too conservatively the first day to be winning it. However, after changing my tactics a bit the second day I had a break-through and managed to win 3 of 4 of the races. Sadly, racing was canceled the last day and I wasn't able to fight for the win in the regatta so I had to settle for 2nd. Happy, but knowing I could do better I headed off to the Columbia River Gorge to train in big breeze for a week.
After a week in sailors paradise, the Gorge, I went up to Vancouver for the North American Championships. I had a pretty good event and was winning the regatta going into the last day, with the chasing pack being very close on points. I managed to defend reasonably well and finished 2nd in the event overall with some key lessons learned and takeaways to focus on. I would say that overall, my speed was quite good and I never really found myself struggling for speed. Out of the 12 races in the regatta, I put 9 "keepers" in, and out of the 3 poor races, 2 had avoidable mistakes, one being a bad start, and one being an early tack that left me too exposed to the fleet. I'm very proud of my performance in the event, and very happy with the progress I've made in the last year, but am aware that there are more gains to be had and know that I need to keep this rate of improvement up for as long as I can.
Now I'm back in the Gorge for a few weeks of training before starting up a very intensive regatta period, with events on the West Coast, East Coast, and all around Europe.