So firstly I should mention that I am sorry I haven't posted this sooner, but as I write this I am sat on what feels like the worlds longest ferry headed back to the UK. Though frankly it is rather fortunate the ferry takes such a long time, because the wifi is so horrendously slow if it was any quicker I wouldn't have time to connect write and upload this before they kick me off at the other end.
Right the final day, well if I'm really honest I would rather not mention it too much. It was a bit of a disaster so I will make this bit quick. Arrived at the boat park to another glass out, waited a long time for the sea breeze to take over from the gradient, got sent out and bobbed around for a couple of hours in next to no wind, eventually started but got caught out on the wrong side of an incredibly one sided race track, rounded the windward mark almost last, chipped off a few, but in the precession of a race we had, the passing lanes were few and far between, so ended up near the back. Not our finest hour. After we finished the committee decided the wind was too fickle to race again, and we were sent back to the beach!
Having had our disaster last race, we dropped in the overalls a little to 23rd. Most definitely not the final day we had planned and imagined! But now the racing is done I have a chance to look back and evaluate the week, so here are my thoughts.
Most importantly I really do feel as though we deserved better. We sailed fantastically for the most part and our boat speed had taken some huge steps forward. It was unfortunate the race management didn't get the opportunity to reassign the qualification fleets at all, as I think we had a particularly hard qualification fleet. That is reflected by our results which actually improved from qualification to gold fleet racing. Although we finished 23rd, our average result in the gold fleet outside of the wacky last race and the capsize we had was about 10th, that is a huge jump in position. On top of that, we felt comfortable racing at the sharp end of the fleet, in the past the windier conditions have been the harder ones but I think we have them covered a bit more now.
While our speed and competitiveness took some good steps in the right direction, I think it fair to say that Mary and I still haven't sailed together for very long yet. We were definitely fast in a straight line, but there are still some big gains to be made in boat handling and turning the corners.
So where do I go from here? This worlds was always going to be a fairly pivoting regatta for any campaign. But because of the recent changes in crew and general messiness of the campaign so far, it's probably not as clear as it could be. Firstly I think there needs to be a bit of sitting back and thinking. There is no doubt about it, there is most definitely potential there. But it is more than just me involved in this campaign, so despite my intentions, I will need to talk to Team mates, sponsors, the RYA, etc.
The best I can give you right now, is that I personally, am as stoked and focused on it all as ever.
Check back soon for further updates,
Huge thanks for everyone's support, it really is appreciated.