In February I travelled to Spain to attend the Palamos trophy event, where we launch off a beach and sail in huge waves! I had just been to Alexandra palace where I enjoyed meeting all the other Neilpryde team riders, so I could not wait to wear my Neil Pryde bib with pride at this event! The regatta was challenging, throwing all conditions at us, but it was great getting to know other sailors from countries like the USA, Switzerland and of course Spain and to compete in a fleet of over 400 optimists. After Palamos, we travelled to Barcelona for a week of training with 8 days a week coaching. I feel that I made great improvements and the weather was amazing!
A few weeks later, I was thrilled to be returning to Spain to compete in Opti Orange Valencia. We had a day of training before which presented us with winds up to 50 knots, it was crazy, hard work but very much fun! On the first day, it was still quite windy, but we managed to get one race in before AP over a went up the flagpole! On the second day, after 3 races in perfect winds, I had made gold fleet! I was excited because this was my first senior fleet event in Gold. After the last day, I was placed 65 out of around 300 boats. I was happy with my performance, and I learned that I need to work on my big fleet tactics which I what I have been doing through lockdown.
Over lockdown, I missed sailing very much, especially because my new Elite Firewire 3mm Long John and Elite lace Lite boot had arrived, I was desperate to try them out on the water, although I had worn them on my hiking bench with my brother spraying me with a hose! Throughout the time when sailing was banned, I kept my fitness up by doing lots of running and core-exercises. I also did a lot of cycling with my family in the forest, including a 26-mile ride.
When the slipway finally was opened, I was excited to get back out sailing and see friends. It felt amazing! Before coaching sessions were allowed, after finishing schoolwork a few friends and I went out sailing almost every day.
During lockdown, I helped my dad to fix up an old rib so that we could use it when the water opened. I discovered lots about how all the electrics work. So, alongside sailing, we have been going out in the rib a lot, when there is no wind for sailing, we can go wakeboarding! My family and I have been spending a lot of time on the water, I have done a little sea swimming with my mum, some surfing at Highcliffe beach and we have just bought a small windsurf rig, so hopefully, my brother and I will be able to learn to windsurf!
Recently, I have been fortunate to race with 40 other boats, the first day was fairly windy, I did quite well, however, on the second day, it was light winds and lots of tide, I didn't come away with the results I was hoping for but with that said, my dad did abandon one of the races I was winning! I came 10th overall, I learnt lots and it was great to practice some bigger starts.
After the event, I did a week of training with 8 days a week, I worked hard on my roll tacks and boat speed. We also did a lot of starting in lots of tide, good practice for the upcoming events on the sea. In late August there is an event in Wales planned which will select for the Europeans and Worlds teams, so long as they go ahead! It would be amazing to have an event this year, so I am keeping everything crossed!