End of Squads Training VS SOS: Max Steele

End of National Winter Squad Training

The final squads were at Northampton.  It was the usual very strong winds, and very cold winter temperatures, challenging most of the fleet. However thanks to my Neil Pryde Elite Firewire wet suit, I kept warm, and could perform to my best capabilities.  

We focused mainly on consistency, and winning start lines, which I was good at, giving me top 3 results in nearly all the practice races.  It felt great after I won the final training race of the winter season, giving me confidence and direction to what standards I should be aiming for the next regatta.

Upon reflection, I really enjoyed the winter training season, as I made some good friends, as well as improved my sailing massively.  The Neil Pryde Elite 3D Curve drysuit and Firewire wetsuit served me well through the season.  My favourite weekend was the training in Hayling Island Sailing club, due to the whirling waves and wind, even though I broke my mast.

My main concern was that I was not getting enough light wind sailing practice, due to the windy winter.  That, and the sailors were improving. 

Start of Seasons Championships

Two weeks later we were back at Northampton for the Start of Season Championships.  The first day was extremely windy, gusting up to 45-50 knots, an insane amount.  We sadly, however as predicted were not allowed to launch at all during that day, meaning that I could work on my boat, as well as get some handy revision for school exams done.  Despite the disappointing postponement for the first day, it was still very fun.

The second and final day of the championships saw barely any wind, due to all the wind being wasted on the first day, and little left for the one after.  After a slow start, the winds gradually picked up, and so did my position on the score board.  The Neil-Pryde’s raceline wetsuit was perfect for the conditions.  I was generally in 2nd and 3rd position in the afternoon races.  However, due to the shifty winds, and good sailing by the competitors, I dropped to 4th place after the final race.  Despite a good start, the wind changed direction, making it hard for me to get to the top mark sooner than the people who the shift had worked well for.  

Although not on the podium, it feels a strong start to the season, indeed my best start of season result yet, and I definitely can’t wait until next regatta, where I will work hard toward getting a better result.


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