I just finished up my last World Cup event of the year in Hyeres, France, and finally have a little time to update this blog. Over the last 3 months a lot has changed for the better, with the biggest change being my training group! I am now a part of an international training group with an Italian Coach and athletes who are in the top 50 or better in the world. Having a training group that will constantly push you to become better and faster is a huge part of any successful sailing campaign, so I am excited to be working and training with these guys.
When I last updated this blog I was training in Mexico, and gearing up for the Laser Midwinters East in Clearwater. I put in a few solid weeks of training and raced in the event, placing a relatively disappointing 13th. Though I had many good moments in the event, my biggest takeaway was that I have a hard time coming through when it counts most (for example, the last race of the regatta where a good finish would’ve secured me 7th place as opposed to 13th). This realization cemented my decision to make a change and find a new/tougher training group.
I managed to find said group, and after a short rest at home, I came over here to Europe to start working with the new group and begin the European regatta season. My first regatta of the season was the Princess Sofia Trophy on the Spanish island of Mallorca. I finished around mid fleet in the 180 boat regatta, and though I was a bit disappointed with this, I found that my speed and my decision making was showing signs of improvement already. Following the regatta, I moved everything to Italy, specifically a little town called Diano where my coach lives. I found the two weeks of training I had there to be incredibly productive both in terms of fitness training and on the water speed testing.
After the Italian training camp, I made my way over here to Hyeres to compete in the World Cup event. Having just finished it today and with the racing still fresh in my mind, I have to say that I am pretty pleased with my result. Finishing 48th in the toughest Laser fleet in the world is a personal best for me, and though I had 3 races where I either fell apart tactically or had some sort of run-in with another competitor (i.e. when I had a boat capsize on top of me causing me to lose ~25 boats), I am overall happy with how the event went. If not for these races I would have easily been in the top 40 which would be an excellent result for me. For the first time ever in a fleet of this caliber I was able to work my way up through the fleet due to my boat speed instead of relying on lucky shifts or other such low percentage plays. Furthermore, I found that my boat speed upwind on the windier days was just as good as on the lighter days of the event, which made me very happy as this has been a big weakness of mine. This result is encouraging and frankly makes me want to put my head down and keep grinding hard. Hopefully with a few more months in this training group I can make a jump and start more regularly competing in the top of the fleet!
Coming up I have the European Championships in La Rochelle followed by the Medemblik Regatta in Holland and a training camp in Aarhaus, the site of the 2018 Sailing World Championships (and the first step in qualifying for the games in 2020).
Still out here grinding,
Oh, And I got a new bike, and its amazing. #TourDeFrance2020