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Olympics is over

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

So the olympics is over and its been a crazy few weeks. It started with over a week of celebration ceremonies which was awesome as I got to travel around the country celebrating with a bunch of different people from all over Australia, as well as meeting some of the Australian athletes which we didn't get to meet, due to being in our own sailing accommodation during the olympics.

Ive since had some fun time sailing on my new moth, done some coaching, moved to Lake Macquarie with my girlfriend and hopefully be able to get on the water more. The long term plan is to continue to Tokyo 2020 but for the immediate few months take much easier and enjoy the journey and be more relaxed after a regimented 8 or so years building up to that 1 event which concluded not so long ago.

All the niggling injuries that have built up over the many hours training get to have a rest and recover, as well get back to the love of sailing being able to reduce the pressure of performance and get back to the passion.

I look forward to getting out and experience a little more than just laser sailing in the next 4 years and am super stoked to be able to set some new goals, after having achieved the ones I set for myself many years ago!


This is where I get to call home... to get the toys out and improve my sailing skills for the years to come!

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Abu Dhabi WCF 2015

Friday, November 06, 2015

After a long season in Europe it was time to head to Abu Dhabi again for the 2015.

With a month off sailing after the Rio Olympic Test Event it was time to get back in the boat for a month training leading into the World Cup Final.

In the lead up to the World Cup Final I have partnered with a new personal sponsor in Fleming Yachts who have joined me on my journey to the 2016 Olympics.

Abu Dhabi this year was much different to 2014, with stronger offshore winds being quite patchy and shifty which made for some very tricky racing with some higher scores than 2014. The fleet was very strong with a different winner in every race.

I managed a consistent regatta with 1 race win to head into the medal race with a 3 point advantage, and raced to a solid 3rd position in the medal race to finish 1st overall.

Thanks to everyone following my journey and for all those who help me along the way. 


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China Abu Dhabi Sail Sydney Sail Melb Nationals Moth Worlds Miami

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

China

After arriving home from the worlds and having a bit of a break after a great result at the worlds getting beaten for Gold on the last day and finishing with Silver, I packed my bags again and headed to China for the Worldcup regatta in Qingdao.

Its was my first time to China so was looking forwards to the experience and going to a new venue even with not so my training pre event.

I arrived without my bags and had to wait 2 days for my bags to catch up, which wasn’t the greatest but luckily the conditions weren’t so great so I didn’t miss much sailing.

I had 1 training day before the event with some wind and a day off right before the event with to much wind for training.

The venue turned out to be very challenging with big winds shifts off the shore and lots of current to get your head around.

I didn’t sail my best but managed to fight through to 3rd by the end and finish on the podium.

Abu Dhabi

With some more preparations going into Abu Dhabi and working on the things that let me down in China I had a solid month preparation to feel comfortable with my ability before heading to the World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi.

With charter boats again like china it was a reasonably simple event, just rocking up with our ropes and being able to go sailing the day after we arrived.

With a few extra days training at the venue we experienced a few different conditions, which held me in good stead leading into the first race day.

I had a few hiccups including a DSQ from a UFD start where I won the race, and also fought off a protest from the final race to lead into the medal race by a comfortable margin.

I had a good medal race where I managed to get a little break at the top mark and lead the whole way around to take the win in the medal race, which was a nice way to end the week and the whole World Cup series.

Sail Sydney

Flying straight home to Sail Sydney and missing the first day of the event and sailing a few races the following day but also missing a few. It was nice to be back on the harbor and get the typical AUS conditions.

I finished the regatta in 16th after sailing half the races, but mainly it was good to support Sail Sydney and get amongst loads of other boats racing on the harbor.

Sail Melbourne

Driving straight down to sail Melbourne the next day to have a few days in Melbourne to recover, we had one training day in Melbourne before racing started.

WE had some typical Melbourne conditions with a generally windier event and some nice waves. Thankfully this year we managed to get all the races in for the Laser fleet, which is a first for Sail Melbourne in some years, normally, missing a day with some huge storms.

After some very close racing I managed to go into the medal race with another decent size margin and finished the race in 4th to take the gold again for the third consecutive year.

With some time off for Christmas I spent the next week at Lake Macquarie sailing my moth with a few of the moth guys from Oracle Team USA and others. This was to be my preparation for the Moth worlds. After a week of training and boat work nearly everyday I thought I had a little handle on my skills before packing it up in its box and dropping it off for a mate who would drive it down to Sorrento for the moth worlds. I then took 3 days off for Christmas up in Forster with my Family before flying out to Perth for the Laser Nationals held in Mandurah over the New Year.

Nationals

Arriving in Mandurah I had a nice solo afternoon session for my first day in the conditions of typical windy Perth, Before 1 more training session with the boys being beginning the grind of our 6 day Nationals.

The first day was the day that set the tone for what turned out to be ground hog day with the exact same conditions for the next week. I started off well with 2 bullets of the first day after some tight racing.

By the last day of the regatta and after 5 days of crazy close racing with Matt Wearn I was able to take the last day off to recover and prepare for my trip to Melbourne and the start of moth worlds. With the 12 race series and 2 drops, with my consistency I couldn’t be beaten and spent the last day on the shore.

Moth Worlds

With some hours spent in shuttle buses and planes I finally made it to Sorrento in Melbourne and unpacked my boat out of the box that night trying to be ready to be on the water the next day. After some hiccups the boat was ready and I got on the water for an hour before coming back to shore. The body wasn’t holding up so well so I spent the next 2 days staying at home trying to recover some more.

The training for the worlds was now planned to be the moth nationals, which was the 2 days prior to worlds. The weather wasn’t playing nice and there was no wind the whole 2 days and we never hit the water.

The first day back on the water was Day 1 of the Moth Worlds in light conditions and it was an experience to be on the starting line of a moth regatta! Some huge mistakes but some other decent boat handling left me with some big scores but also some surprising scores.

I was happy with how I was going until the weather got a bit rougher. Typical Melbourne couldn’t last with light weather for to long and we had some windier days coming. The breeze was good for me from the laser background but the waves getting bigger and with little time in the moth my boat handling really suffered.

I had some boat handling issues which made me miss a race along with a breakage that made me miss a few more and the last days forecast was to much for me and I called it early and packed up to head home. The body was feeling aches and pains from all the crashes and it had been a long week already of either waiting around doing boat work in no wind or getting bumped and bruised crashing in 20-25knots.

I had planned to have a week preparation before heading to Miami for the laser Laser Worldcup event, although my body had other plans.

I came down with a virus, which left me in bed for a few days, which was not getting better very quickly.

I decided to go to Miami anyway and give it my best.

Arriving in Miami I was feeling the best I had felt the whole week but competing against the best laser sailors in the world is not easy and it showed.

I was struggling in the wind and didn’t feel like myself.

I had a few tough days and it really showed I have a lot to do in preparation before going to Palma.

Like China it was a good eye opener to show the things I need to improve on, now being healthier and feeling better I will be able to get back to the things that need working on.

I finished in a disappointing 18th overall and watching the Medal race from the coach boat was all the motivation I need to get some good training in before Palma in 2 or so months.

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Santander Worlds 2014 - Silver

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Worlds Santander 2014

After a nice week off in USA going to Universal studies and spending time in sunny Florida, it was back to work preparing for the worlds. No better place to prepare for a sailing event than GARDA!

With the Aus squad all meeting in Garda we had a nice week of cycling sailing and Gym before heading to Santander.

After arriving in Santander we moved in to our nice accommodation and unpacked the boats from the trailer and settled in for our 3 week stay.

In training we saw all conditions, from light barely sailable breeze, to days of 20-25knots.

Closer to the regatta the forecast was looking for mainly lighter breeze and it proved to be a very tough week for the race committee.

Day 1:

The first day of racing proved to be pretty tough with light steady breeze with a mainly one-sided race track. In trainings we had some days with one sided tracks but each day could be different. Left one day or right the next. Changes due to slight wind angle or tide.

It turned to be right side favored and after a good start at the boat and heading right I rounded in 3rd at the top. By the bottom I was 1st but a bad judgment call on the outer loop  and I lost boats to the right of me and finished 5th.

The second race went a  little better after another good start and a bit more conservative about throwing boats away I finished 3rd.

Day 2:

The second day was a long day on the water. After a very soft first race and another right side dominant track I finished with a solid 8th. Nothing special but enough to keep me in the game.

The wind came and went an d after a few hours waiting around for the second race we managed to get a second race in with 10-15knots. A nice changed and we were able to get a quick race away after spending most of the day waiting around.

I had a good start and worked the middle and rounded the top in 4th and was able to move forwards to finish in 2nd.

Day 3:

First day of Gold fleet racing and another day with light winds and lots of waiting around.

We got a race away in really light winds and I had an up and down race along with most of the fleet. The tide played a big factor as we wind filled in and died away again. I finished with an 8th.

We sat around again for hours waiting for some sailable breeze. A race got started but after a 50 degree shift to the left it was abandoned.

We waited some more and at about 7pm a storm hit and we got sent in.

Day 4:

The breeze had swung and increased and it was very similar to Aus conditions. The breeze was now coming off the shore and made it very patchy and shifty. We had between 5-15 with some big shifts on both sides of the course.

I had a good start in the first race and was looking good heading to the right side of the course which most of the fleet thought was going to be the best side after an hour warming up seeing some big angles and more pressure out on the right.

I rounded the top mark in  4th and after some tight racing finished in 4th.

The second raced was the trickiest of the regatta. After getting a good start at the pin end and able to tack and cross, I was headed right as it was the danger side and proved strong in the previous race. The breeze continued to decrease on the right hand side of the course and swung to the left. A fair few boats were on my left hip by this stage and with the breeze swinging I had lost a lot of boats and rounded in the 20s at the top mark.

The breee continued to be funky up the 2nd beat with huge shifts and both sides looking to be strong with breeze filling in both sides. I finished in 16th

Day 5:

The storm was well and truly in and we had a solid 20-30knots on our course. The race committee struggled to lay the startline with their anchors. We sat around for an hour or so before we were able to get a race underway. I had a nice first beat rounding in 4th, but slipped to 7th up the 2nd beat missing a right shift .

We sat around for a few hours in 20+knots waiting for a second race but by the time the race got started the breeze swung 90 degrees and died up the first beat and the race was abandoned.

The breeze glassed out and we had no more racing.

Day 6 – Medal Race

The breeze was back in for the medal race on our final day and we had a solid 20+ knots for our final race. I had a good start but was unable to string a few waves together on the upwind and got sucked back into the pack and couldn’t find a way out. I rounded the top mark in last and was in catch up mode the entire race.

I finished in 7th which was enough to get me the Silver and 2nd overall!

Really stoked with coming second at the worlds and definitely have a lot of motivation to go one better next year as I was so close this year.

Cheers

TB

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Rio - Olympic Test Event

Monday, August 18, 2014

RIO - Olympic Test Event

After being delayed and missing a few connecting flights we rocked up to Rio a day later than planned and without our bags. Not the best situation but luckily the bags came another day later, so we were able to get on the water a day later than expected but unfortunately missed the first day of the “pre regatta” at the venue. We registered anyway and were keen to do the following days. We had a big of a shocker and missed the start of the first race of the 2nd day but only just, so was able to still race with the bulk of the fleet.

The second race of the day was a glass out and after receiving a yellow flag in the race we were late to I got another in the glassed out race which then went on to get abandoned, therefore unable to race the first race of the 3rd day of competition!!

Not the greatest way to start the time in Rio. Although it got worse before it got better! I was pushing my limits with my watch and therefore after sitting the first race of the day out I missed the start of the 2nd race just by not paying so much attention. My fault!!, but it does show the race committee could get some quick races off which was great to see! Even though I wasn’t in it.

I made the 3rd race of the day and lead for most of the way before getting passed on the final downwind. Although things were looking positive and it was a nice way to finish the 3 day event which was pretty horrendous for me.

We then planned our schedule for a few days training and we managed to look at all the courses and getting a variety of conditions

Day 1-

The forecast wasn’t looking good and with the days being so short (getting dark by 5) we sat around all day waiting for wind until it was eventually abandoned for the day.

Day 2-

We kept our schedule to be on the furthest course and the forecast was for some breeze! And 3 races planned.

On the tow out we got halfway out until we hit the big swell offshore and needed to get off the tow with some 20knot gusts and some massive swells.

It looked like it was going to be a grind day but after the first race it slowly died and became very tricky in the big swells.

The first race I started good and it was the trick to get on the first upwind swell to start planning before boats around you otherwise you would get swamped. I got on one with a few other boats and we shot out left. By the top mark I was in around 6th, managing to have a good downwind and be 3rd by the bottom mark.

The next upwind it was a little skewed and not much changed.

I was able to slide through to 2nd by the bottom and to the finish.

The second race seemed very similar although the wind had softened slightly and I didn’t get a great start this time and was pinned by a few boats around me who pushed the start harder and before I knew it was looking for a lane out.

Towards the top mark I missed a few shifts and rounded in the teens. With the big swells and pressure differences up the swells is became a game of sailing technique/fast and also navigation. At the top of the swells was the most power so needed the most effort, although that was the only times you could see the marks.

A navigation error by a lot of the guys in front of me gave me an opportunity to pounce as they had all gone to low on the reach and only a few noticed the mark was a lot higher. By the wing mark I was around 8th and held off a big group down the run to round the bottom in decent shape.

By the top the top group was still bunched together and I rounded in 8th close to the back and the boats spread down the final run with me being on the favored side and rounding again in 2nd for the reach to the finish.

The last race of the day was again moderate breeze and the starts seemed crucial. I got a good start and held some long lanes and rounded the top in 1st with a handy lead and stayed there for the win.

Long sail into the sunset with some nice big waves for surfing was a highlight.

Day 3-

The sea breeze was back and again pretty strong. Moderate to fresh seabreeze proved to be stronger than the previous day. We were again offshore but on the closer of the two offshore courses.

The first race was good, rounding the top in 3rd really close to the first two boats and it ended up a close battle with a bit of a gap to 4th. Although I lost out and finished 3rd.

Second race of the day I had another bad start and was lucky to get out of the dilemma to cross half the fleet on port. I came back at the fleet and was surprisingly back in the game so though I got out of jail, although got a little conservative and picked the wrong side to protect losing major distance to the leaders and getting sucked into the pack.

Compounded with some rookie errors finished in 11th.

Day 4-

We had moved to the course furthest from the ocean right down in the bay and the forecast wasn’t good!

We sat around again and eventually hit the water to sit around in some fickle breeze. Eventually it came up only slightly and we had a really light wind race. I sailed quite well and got a solid 2nd in what could have been an anything race with it being bump-a-boat racing every time I looked behind.

Day 5-

Final day of fleet racing and we were in the main part of the bay and again the forecast looked iffy. Storms were forecast and seemed to be coming but we were sent out in glassy conditions. We sat around in 2 different breezes fighting each other until after a few hours we got the storm breeze that initially kicked up to 20+knots and it was on.

The breeze was so tricky going form 20+ down to 5knots. With some big tidal differences to throw in the mix.

The first race started good with a nice start picking the right way to go up the first beat getting again to ahead of myself and losing big at the top mark to round in 8th, although I easily could have been leading. Making some gains on the downwind I made a really bad choice of gate at the bottom and was playing catchup after that getting bounced by boats in front getting forced the wrong way. Ending in 9th.

Second and what was obviously the last race of the day I had a nice start being more decisive with the shifts and rounded the top in 5th, Some committed decisions saw me pass some boats by the bottom and by the top for the 2nd time I was in 2nd. The final run was tough with tidal differences along with pressure brought the pack back together. I got bouy room on a ground of 4 at the bottom and finished in 2nd.

Day 6 – MR day

After some tricky scores with some redress I went from having a 14 point lead over 2 boats, back to only a 4 point lead, although in the end GBR who was second succumbed to an injury which saw him get redress and was unable to sail the Medal Race.

I had a 14 point lead on my closest rival and sailed a solid MR to finish 6th and take gold.

Stay tuned for the progress leading up to the Worlds in Sept!

TB

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Europeans - Croatia - 4th

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Home from Europe after Europeans

So I am finally home after a long 5 month trip in Europe this year.

Since my last post I have spent 3 weeks training in Italy – Lake Garda and a month preparing in Croatia for the Europeans which have just finished.

Spending three weeks training in Croatia pre regatta the conditions were looking skeptical with some days just no wind arriving and spending the day waiting.

We had a practice event the week before the Europeans where 50 boats turned up and we manage to get 9 races in. Even in this regatta we had a day or 2 with no wind sitting around waiting. Each morning we were postponed and had to wait a few hours for wind.

I started off slowly in the regatta but was starting to sail better towards the end of the regatta and finished in 4th.

The highlight of the week though was the top 9 boats getting to head into the “night race” where it was a 3x3 race shootout. Where 3 boats had a mini 3 race regatta and winner went through to the final.

In my heat I got through to the final against Tonci (CRO) and JB (FRA).

It was all tied going into the final race, but I came 3rd in the final race and that left me in 3rd overall in the night race.

The atmosphere was great and it ended up being a really fun night.

 The next week of training was perfect with most days bringing in the seabreeze with around 15 knots and hiking most days.

As we all know, if the conditions are good a week out from the regatta it may not be a good sign for the regatta and it proved to be the case.

Day 1:

I started off day 1 with the best start possible. I got a 1st in the first race which was a good way to kick the day off. I didn’t get the best of starts in the 2nd race but was still in the game at the top mark. I made some few gains up the 2nd beat but got a little cautious towards the top and lost some of the gains I had made.

I finished a close 8th and through some dilemma got scored 8.5.

Day 2:

The forecasts and breeze for the day looked soft. We went out after a bit of a delay and saw the conditions were going to be tricky. I had a tough start but was in the game on the run and past 8 boats on the first run to be 3rd by the bottom. I held throughout the race but made a critical mistake of the final beat and dropped 2 boats to finish 5th.

The breeze dropped and we couldn’t get any more races in.

Day 3:

We had another delay to the day but the breeze had kicked in a little and we could get two races in in around 10knots. I had a good start in the first race and was able to tack and cross most of the fleet. I was again a little to conservative and persisted with my plan to stay on the long tack. I missed heading to more pressure and the pressure never filled across the course and I stayed in lighter winds the whole way up. I rounded in the 20s but managed to get back to finish 12th.

The second race of the day the strategy had become clear with one side clearly more favored. I had a worse start than the first race but the game plan was easier and I rounded in 4th at the top and by the end was up to 2nd for the finish.

Day 4:

1 race attempted but was abandoned after a big shift and the wind glassing out.

No racing

Day 5:

The forecasts for the following day looked bleak and with no racing the day before the race committee were desperate for races.

We had been split into Gold,Silver,Bronze for two days now but still yet to have a finals race.

We waited around for ages on the water before trying to start a race in a light but looked to be building breeze.

We got away and the breeze was very patchy and big shift differences from side to side. Before we got to the top mark we were again abandoned with the fleet being spread right across the course.

With a final attempt we got away in not so different conditions but we were let go. Luckily for me I was at the front of the fleet in 3rd with a big gap back to 4th. The first 3 stayed the same the whole race and I finished in 3rd.

Day 6:

Storms and no racing we sat on shore all day until 3pm where it was called for the day, as the last race could not be started before 4pm.

It was clearly not the best way to finish a regatta. Especially one which had averaged 1 race a day. With only 1 final race the rules stated that you were now unable to drop the finals race due to there only being one. This really disadvantaged some.

I look forward to having some time off at home before getting back into it in preparation for the Test Event in Rio & then back to Europe for the ISAF Worlds in late August.

Stay Tuned


TB

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Hyeres 2014

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Hyeres 2014

After having a few weeks off after Palma we headed to Hyeres for the final worldcup regatta of the 2014 season.

Arriving only a few days before the regatta in Hyeres it was straight into training to get some specific venue training.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the best lead up to the event getting a neck injury a few days before the event and spending most days in the physio pre and post sailing. It took a few days to get over the injury but luckily by the start of the regatta my neck was around 80% and getting better day by day.

The forecast for the regatta was changing daily and most forecasts would differ so it was hard to judge on what the conditions would be for the next day of racing.

The regatta ended up being mainly a moderate regatta with hiking nearly everyday.

Day 1:

The day started off with a moderate breeze and building. With around 12-18knots onshore breeze it was a glamour day for sailing. We have had many days in these conditions in Hyeres before so I had a vague idea on a good plan for the day.

In the first race I rounded the top mark in 1st and lead from start to (close to the finish). After going through the final bottom mark and what should normally be a reach to the finish I started to reach looking the finish but was unable to see it. I stopped and tried looking harder while boats behind did the same thing. I thought I saw something further downwind so started floating a little more that way. Unfortunately when I finally found where the finish was I was the furthest downwind and the finish was along way upwind.

Unfortunately my angle to the finish was not ideal and I lost 5 boats on the way to the finish and finished 6th.

The second race I hadn’t the best first beat but worked my way back to finish 5th by the finish.

The last race of the day I had a nice battle with a fellow teammate and we finished 1-2. Unfortunately with me in 2nd.

Day 2:

With nearly the exact same forecast for the day, the day proved to be déjà vu of the previous day. I started the best way possible leading again from start to finish to take the first bullet of the day.

Second race and my first beat wasn’t as good as the previous race. With a right shift halfway up the first beat which caught many out, I rounded just in the top 5. I had a decent first downwind and was 4th by the bottom and stayed there to the finish.

Day 3:

First day of Gold fleet brought some different conditions. The breeze had swung to offshore, but was still a reasonable breeze with full hiking conditions.

I was not on form on the start line and both starts was quickly onto port trying to find a new lane. Each start I was able to find some really tight lanes which I was able to hold and be going the right way.

In the first race I rounded in the top few around the top mark and was able to move through to finish 2nd by the finish.

The final race was again another good one finishing 5th.

Day 4:

This was another déjà vu moment with the day being again very similar to the previous day. Although we stayed on shore for a while before heading out, by the time we hit the water the breeze was up to full hiking conditions once more.

I had another solid race finishing 6th but with all the top guys of the regatta very close.

The race finished around 6pm and we were trying to get another race away. The breeze became very unstable and shifty, with the starts being very hard to get away with the big shifts throughout the late afternoon.
We finally got away at round 7pm in one of the lighter races of the regatta. I held in some tight lanes again to round in around 10th at the top and after making some losses down the first race being a little to risk free down the middle I was able to make some gains up the next beat finishing in 6th once more.

Day 5:

Final day of finals and I headed into it with a small lead over my major rival in Andy from NZL.

It was back to the typical nice direction onshore breeze with some good hiking conditions and nice waves.

I headed into the day with a 6th being my worst race and drop thus far making it an interesting situation. After the first race of the day I finished with an 8th and all major finals behind me. Looking good and left myself open with some nice possible options going into the last race.

It was obvious some people were keen to have an early mark with having 4 BFD starts and ending up getting 15 boats BFD.

With my drop being an 8th so far I was trying to push the starts hard to make sure I would get better than an 8th in the race. Unfortunately I pushed a little to hard and in the final General recall start before the race got away I got done BFD. Not the best way to finish but it was my plan to push hard and I slightly stepped over the line.

Day 6:

Going into the Medal Race day I had a 3 point deficit on NZL and a 14-15 point buffer on NED and BRA.

The day was much lighter than what was forecast and the race turned out to be quite nail-biting.

I went from overall 3rd theoretically at the top mark, to 1st theoretical by the bottom mark, back into 2nd theoretical by the final top mark. Only to get the points I needed to win overall in the last 50 meters before the finish of the race.

After 2 big regattas in a row its time for a full week off to relax before starting the build up to the Europeans in early June.

TB


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Palma 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

It’s been a while since my last update and I have travelled some Kilometers and been to various places since.

Since arriving in Europe and spending a week training in Belgium we travelled to Oeiras – Portugal where we had a training camp planned with about 10 boats. It wasn’t the best weather being a little cold and sometimes rainy but we got it done nonetheless.

It was a big experience sailing with ripping tide, some days barely moving either upwind or downwind.

The highlight of the week was getting smashed by a huge wave onto the rocks, where I destroyed my mast and sail. Luckily saved the boat and foils. A scary experience that I wish to not experience again.

After a few days training there we headed for Cadiz – Spain where there was a small regatta (still having 60+ lasers) and some good training.

The first 2 days of the regatta were quite light, while the second 2 days were quite windy. So a mixture of conditions and I ended up coming 2nd to JB from France. It was a good week of sailing and some nice long days on the water giving us some good fitness and time on the water.

After packing up the boats and storing them in the yacht club we packed the van with just the bikes and headed to Marbella – Spain for a 5 day cycle camp.

We found a small gym also to spend the nights training and found some big climbs on strava.

We road most days from our hotel to find the highest climbs we could, one day even driving 30km to get to the base of the 21km climb taking up to 1400m.

Finishing up in Marbella after 4-5 days of good fitness block we drove back to Cadiz to grab the boats and continued onto Villamoura – Portugal for another 5 days block this time in the boat.

We were searching for some windy conditions and Villamoura supplied them, with almost every day over 20knots. There wasn’t much time for another training with most days 3hrs+ in 20knots and after sailing we spent most time resting in bed!

Then the real journey began. Leaving Villamoura to drive via Lisbon to Barcelona to drop the trailer off, then continue back to Rotterdam to get our new boats from the container, then back to Barcelona to catch the ferry to Palma!

There were a solid few days of just driving, but gave us time to fully recover from the fitness and by the time we landed in Palma we were raring to go!

Palma 2014

After arriving in Palma we had a nice light day to test in the new boats and get the new sails out, before having some solid windy days to test out the legs.

The funny thing about training before an event is normally the conditions you train in, most of the time ends up being the opposite to what you will have in the regatta. E.g. windy training = light event. Or visa versa.

Anyway we ended up having a mixed bag of conditions throughout the event, which was a good way for it to finish.

Day 1:

The forecast was light and we were postponed on shore waiting for wind.

Three races were planned and it looked like it was going to be a long day. After we eventually got out on the water the race committee did a really good job punching the races away with minimal time spent hanging around between races.

I finished day 1 with 2nd,17th,10th. Not the best way to start a regatta, especially with 3 fleets meaning you can really triple each of those results.

Day 2:

Again it was light and shifty again but a slightly different direction. I was able to get some good shifts in the first race and finished 2nd. I had another solid race in R2 and got 11th. Some small gains up the leaderboard.

Day 3:

We spent about 6 hours on the water with 1 race started but abandoned halfway through with a big wind shift and then went in without getting a race finished.

Day 4:

First day of finals and the forecast was for some more wind and big shifts throughout the day. The first race was not so windy yet. Around 15knots and I had a good first beat making some small errors towards the top of the beat but managed to round in good position. I finished in 6th at the finish. Solid result in Gold fleet racing.

Second race of the day the breeze increased halfway through with a massive shift. I rounded in second at the top and with a big shift throughout the race it turned into a bit of a soldiers course with the main challenge trying to find the marks in the building breeze and rain.

Third race of the day became really windy. I rounded the top in around 5th and was 2nd at the bottom mark, but after 2 capsizes down the final run I finished the race in 3rd.

A good day in finals jumping me up the leaderboard into 2nd place.

Day 5:

Last day of finals and another 3 races planned. With more wind again predicted but offshore breeze we were predicting a reasonably hard day, being very shifty and patchy over the course.

I had an average day scoring a 12,8,14 to drop to 3rd heading into the medal race but well in touch with the leaders.

Day 6:

Medal Race day and I started 6 points off first.

We started our first race in a very light offshore breeze before it died to nothing and got abandoned. We sat around for 30mins before a light seabreeze kicked up and we were able to get another race away in very steady winds.

I had a good start and lead from start to finish with everyone falling into place for me to take the win by a single point.

A very satisfying way to end the week.

TB

TB

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Fort Lauderdale - 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fort Lauderdale – 2014

Straight after Miami OCR we had a few more days training in Miami before driving the boats to Fort Lauderdale the day before the regatta for registration and getting the boats ready.

We arrived and it was hot with not much wind and as we were rigging by a nice pool we decided to chill out by the pool for a while and before we knew it we could register so we decided to keep chilling and stay by the pool.

Day 1:

We woke up early as we still stayed in Miami and needed to drive an hour each day to Fort Lauderdale.

It was forecast for light winds again this week but as the racing was a fair way out of the harbor we left on time and were going to wait out on the water for wind.

When we got out there was a nice soft breeze, around 5 knots, which we where able to start on time. The first day ended up being very tricky with the current. We all knew there was current on the course but no one knew the variations throughout the course.

In the first race there was a light pressure advantage on the right, which made the guys from the right first at the top mark. (This confused the fleet and made it take a race longer before we found out the trick on the course).

I sailed out to the left in decent shape before seeing more pressure on the right and going for it. Although in hindsight there was massive current out towards the open ocean and way less current on the left to the shore.

I rounded in around 7th and made some gains on the downwind being further out to sea. I didn’t yet know the massive differences in the tide and rounded the gate further out to sea and waited for a right shift to come back on. When I tacked I was looking good but after some time it got worse and worse being out in the current. I observed the differences eventually sucking up a really bad angle to get further left. I lost positions and finished 8th.

Second race of the day the game plan seemed quite simple. I had a good start about 5-10 boats up from the pin to avoid the chaos of the pin boats and was 2nd boat out to the left side. It became obvious how much the left was paying with tide relief as we began to extend on the fleet looking back as there boats above us were barely moving.
I got to what I thought was the lay line and tacked. As in the previous races I expected some shifts to still come from the right so I wasn’t to worried at this point.

Alas I was the first back into the current and the boats that stuck to the shore for a little longer and came back overlay were starting to look very good. I tried to get back further left but being in the current I was struggling to make forward progress.

I rounded in 2nd and with it being then obviously very one sided I finished in 2nd.

Third race it was even more obvious about the game plan and I think everyone knew it also. I didn’t have the best start and was forced to make a clearing tack back into the middle of the fleet. Luckily there was a bit more pressure there and I was able to get the boat moving as the guys further left were nearly stopped. I was the firs boat out to the far left and rounded in 1st and was able to stay there to the finish.

Day 1 (8,2,1)

Day 2:

Similar forecast and we headed out early again. There was a bit more breeze and a different direction. Onshore so the waves were much bigger.

I had a good start in the first race heading left and was able to tack and cross when the guys from the left were also.
It was starting to knock into the right and I had all the right boats covered so I thought it would be good for me to come. As we got closer to the mark I saw a slightly better angle further left with some more breeze and I got crossed by a boat and rounded in 2nd.

With some big angle being sailed on the downwind it was hard to tell which way would pay so I was close to the center and was in 3rd by the bottom.

I stayed in 3rd at the finish after losing some close battles on the final downwind.

Second race of the day for me was again tricky. I was happy on the upwinds and sailing well, but struggling on the downwinds either not committing hard enough to the correct side or just being a little out of sync with the waves.

I was 2nd again midway through the race and lost another close battle on the last downwind to the finish-to-finish 3rd again.

Third race was tough for me. The breeze had risen to about 15knots and the heat was draining me of energy. I was tired before the race and the first beat would show. With not so much speed off the line I found a grove about halfway up the beat to round in about 10th. I had a decent first beat rounding in 5th at the bottom mark and was looking and feeling much better up the 2nd beat. I was up to 4th before not noticing where the change of mark had moved to and ended up overlaying the top mark by a few hundred meters with some others and lost a boat up the beat, but gaining one who overlayed further. Then losing another down the run again, to finish 5th.

Day 2 (3,3,5)

Day 3:

Final day of the regatta and I was tied but 2nd on count back. The breeze was very soft and fluky but we got away on time. The first beat turned out to be tricky with more current on the right again but the breeze angle was such that if the breeze was around far enough the more tide would help as you would get pushed to windward towards the mark. It was hard to change positions as the wind was so light and you really had to sail the breeze you were with. I was looking decent in a close 3rd until a glass out at the top mark and filling in from the right and I rounded in around 4th. I stayed 4th down the run while a right hand shift cam through.

It was an obvious choice now for the bottom gate with the left looking at it was favored and the wind was a long way right.

I rounded the bottom mark in 4th with the guy I was tied with was in 2nd. It wasn’t looking good, but with the conditions being so tricky I still tried to find a way past. I saw what looked to be more wind on the right and tried to get out there further.

I went for in and it didn’t look good. I had lost to the boat behind me and didn’t see much advantage from the way I was going. I persistend a little and found my own breeze lane and saw the boats infront of me were stuck in no wind. I held my lane until I had passed into 2nd at the top and the guy I was tied with had slipped to 4th due to the fluky wind. It was that way to the finish.

The second race of the day was even trickier. I was in 3rd at the top mark and the main competition a long way back due to literally no wind and a massive shift to the right when we were near the top mark.

The race was abandoned and called for the day.

Day 3 (2)

Top 3

TB

Karl Martin Rammo

Wannes

Van Laer

It was close racing throughout the week and I was sailing well at times and poorly at others.

I look forward to the next regatta to try and cut out the errors!

TB


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Miami OCR - 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Miami OCR – 2014

After having some time off both in Australia and a week in America I headed to Miami for my first regatta of 2014 and the beginning of my preparation towards the worlds in Santander later this year.

I arrived a few days before the regatta and was able to fit in a few days of training. Luckily had a windy day and a light day to get a bit of variety of what Miami can offer.

The forecast for the regatta wasn’t looking to bad from a long way out with maybe 1 really light day, but it didn’t turn out so well for us.

Day 1:

First day of the regatta and it was a new direction to what I had sailed in, and a light 5knots. Launched with no pads and took them in the boat but they were not needed for the whole day.

Started the first race with an ok start and was able to tack and cross soon after but a few more boats were to the left of me and also able to tack and cross. I was looking around 10th up the first beat as the left hand shit came in. After a few shifts I had made some small gains, but after a small right hander at the top mark I was able to cross some boats and round in 2nd behind GBR.

We stayed 1-2 the entire race switching around positions until I was able to get a shift up the 2nd beat and finish 1st.

Second race was a little different. I had a nice start again and was heading right with another left hand shift to come in. I rounded in around 15th which was the best of the boats who went right but not so good. On the downwind I made some big gains and then some big losses at the bottom mark, before spotting some more pressure out to the right and committing myself the whole way right. It paid off with about 5 knots more wind and I was the only boat just able to start hiking. It was also a big right had shift and I ended up reaching into the top mark and around all the boats stuck in less pressure. I had jumped to first and stayed there until the finish.

Day 1 (1,1)

Day 2:

A similar wind direction and strength for day two, after a long postponement on shore., proved to be a tricky day on the water with only one race sailed. I had a decent start down near the pin and was heading left looking quite good. The beat started to get really soft and the benefits I had the previous day didn’t come through with again another right hand shift with pressure and this put me way on the outside of the shift. I rounded the top mark in around 15th spot and again the first downwind was tricky.

A horrific bottom mark rounding right at a crucial point with the bottom gate being very skewed and what I thought at the time was a persistent shift to the right, so I went for an outside rounding for the favored gate to head right. It didn’t turn out the way I hope and the boats I passed on the downwind quickly passed me, with interest.

I continued right and the breeze became oscillating and the main shift was back to the left. So big losses up the 2nd beat and finished in 26th.

Day 2 (26)

Day 3:

No Racing – no wind

Day 4:

With more breeze forecasted it was looking to be a more promising day with no postponements on shore. I got to the racecourse and we had around 15knots of wind, although it died a bit through the day and we finished with around 8 knots.

I started well in the first race and had good speed to round the top in 1st, to get a yellow flag about 30seconds out of the top mark and then get swamped by all the boats spreading out. I was in around 10th now and made some up by the bottom mark. The 2nd beat I gain with a nice shift at the top and rounded in 4th at the top. I finished in 4th.

Second race of the day wasn’t so good. The race committee seemed to be letting a lot of close starts get away without any recalls. I thought it would be a recall for sure and it got away and I was stranded midline in the 2nd or 3rd row. Immediately tacking with the whole fleeting doing the same on top of me. I managed to find some small lanes and a nice shift at the top mark to round in about 15. I had a good run and a nice 2nd beat to round the top the 2nd time in 4th. I picked 1 more boat before the finish-to-finish 3rd. A good result but not my best start.

Day 4 (4,3)

Day 5:

No racing – no wind

Day 6:

Medal race day and again we waited around until around 4pm for any wind to get a race in. We had to travel to another course where the wind was stronger to get a race in. We watched the radials race in some steady conditions which looked to be a speed race.

When we started it went really shifty. Big up and down pressure and from watching the race before I didn’t have my head around the change in conditions.

I sailed pretty poorly not adapting to the changes and found myself a long way behing with 3-4 other boats with the leaders pretty much gone. I finished the race in 7th. Leaving me to drop from 2nd overall to 4th. A disappointing way to finish the regatta.

Not to bad though as my goal was to be in contention to win the regatta going into the final day. As I had a month off sailing and sailed 3 days before the event I was happy to be close to the front with a possibility of winning.

TB


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