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Spring Championships, Poole Harbour- Day 1

Got changed, rigged and ready to go for 9 and had the main briefing at 9:30. Had my usual bacon sandwich. Around a 45 minute postponement before yellow and blue flights (there were four flights) head out onto the water. Then it was our turn to launch. This was quite difficult in the chop and the onshore wind direction but it was fine. Once out and sailed to the start I started to depower my sail massively as the conditions were crazily windy! First start got off fine after a general recall. We were then into sequence. My plan was to head out left, take the shift across and generally survive. I knew the race was going to be about fitness, speed and having no water in our boats. So, I got a good start, was working as hard as possible through the waves. Followed my plan and therefore ducked Will Hall to get further to the left to get the full advantage of the shift, then tacked over onto port. After about 5 or so minutes on port I noticed that the boats to the left of me had fallen back. I rounded the first mark in first position with Jack Lucas-Clements about 10 seconds behind me. We were pretty close when it came to the bottom mark. We both rounded different marks. I wanted the left hand mark looking up wind as I wanted to get out to the left hand side again and he rounded the right but then s

hortly tacked. We were pretty close up that whole second beat but at the top, he just managed to get in front coming in right on the port hand lay line. I rounded in second reasonably close to him. I over took him with power on the reach whilst trying to bail and keep the boat as flat as possible. I gybed at the reach mark in a lull and then stormed downwind pumping on the sharp waves. I got about three quarters of the way downwind before seeing out of the corner of my eye an Irish boy surfing downwind in white flight. I was sure it was only Jack and me. I still raced on trying to over take him. He rounded in front of me at the leeward mark but, I over took him by going high on the lower reach. I rounded mark 5 and crossed the finish line. I couldn’t believe it! I had won the race!! At the start of the day my Dad said to me that as it was his Birthday, he would like a bullet. I couldn’t let him down! J We were told to go in and not de-rig but to have lunch and everything. I literally couldn’t do another race. I was sooo tired. Utterly drained! I couldn’t even pull my boat up the beach, or hardly anyway!! After a short while, the flags went up and there was no more racing for the day. A great confidence boast! Such a fantastic day!

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