After a very tricky weeks racing in shifty winds in Dublin Bay it was pleasing to finish the Europeans in 3rd place!
Annalise Murphy of Ireland dominated the event and I sailed a pretty consistent series to finish up third. We rotated between two different course areas throughout the week. The first couple of days saw some big wind shifts which were pretty hard to predict so you just had to keep looking for the opportunities and be consistent. My post racing recovery of walking up and down in the sea got some pretty funny looks from the locals!
The second day of the finals series we started the race in a light N’ly breeze which died through the race. On the beat to the finish the wind had fully dropped and you could barely make it to the line against the tide. You’d sail on port tack to plug the tide, tack to try to cross the line and end up by the finish boat without having gone forward! Around 10 boats ended up being timed out which meant they were 20 minutes behind the leader.
Going into the last day of the regatta I was in third place but with 3 races scheduled it was all to play for. We were racing on the more inshore race area in a N’ly breeze, which was shifty as usual. I sailed solidly in the first 2 races. With 1 race to go first was pretty much out of reach unless Annalise made a mistake but second was definitely possible. I started the third race well and raced hard, but ultimately finished 3rd overall in the regatta. I was pleased to have put together a pretty consistent series and to have started well throughout the week.
It was great to stand on the podium for the first time at the European Championships. After the prize giving it was a quick dash to the car to get the ferry back to the UK, followed by a long drive back home, which was a lot nicer in the Volvo, especially as my coach Hugh drove. Without the support of the British Sailing Team and the National Lottery it wouldn’t be possible to compete. And without the support of my coach, Hugh Styles and training partners, Chloe and Hannah it wouldn’t be possible to keep improving….so THANKS! Plenty of work to do to get to the top step of the podium!
I’m home just long enough to wash my clothes before I get the ferry to Santander on Sunday for a regatta there in preparation for the world championships which will be held there in 2014.