9th at the Europeans!

Feeling on cloud nine after finishing 9th European (10th overall) at the European Championships out here in Dublin, Ireland.

My first ever big Senior International top 10!

We had a good week’s training in a mix of conditions out here before the event started. We managed to fit in a trip to the Guinness Factory on one afternoon off sailing which was lots of fun, and a good way to chill out. Then we headed for dinner in Temple Bar, an area in Dublin full of cobbles, old pubs and great live folk music everywhere. Right up my alley! Wish I had had my guitar or tin whistle with me!!

Day 1 of the event was a breezy one. I had a couple of solid races: 8th and a 10th. A solid start is good but I made some bad tactical calls and so was pretty cross with myself. I knew I could do a lot better!! Day 2 was less windy but incredibly gusty and shifty; proper snakes and ladders racing. You could be winning one minute then be fully down the pan the next. I kept my cool in the first race after a tense battle and took the bullet! That felt really good. It was a day of elation and frustration. From winning the first race to going for the pin end in the next start, hitting the pin end boat and having to do turns, then having to play catch up with the fleet for the rest of the race. Day 3 I had a great day in some bigger waves and wind. 4th, 6th in the two races was enough to finish qualifying in 11th overall. Finals is where the fun and games really begins!

First day of finals was tricky and shifty, with some awesome waves again. I finished 2nd in the first race behind Annalise Murphy (IRL) who was absolutely flying! A solid 19th in the second race of the day saw me move up into 9th overall. Day 5 was tough. Light and very shifty wind and complicated tides. Some boats never made it across the finish line due to a dying breeze and strengthening tide! Too many silly mistakes made it my discard race. It meant I had well and truly put the pressure on myself for the final day. With 3 races scheduled and in 12th overall, having already used up my discard from finals, there was no room for slip ups. I am very proud to say that I kept my head. In the first race I was coming 5th  up the second beat when a gust came from the other side of my sail and capsized me! I was so angry with myself!! But I managed to recover to 14th. A 7th and a 6th in the last two races was enough for an overall top ten. Chuffed doesn’t even begin to cover it!!

Now it’s home for a few days before Santander, Spain for the 2014 Worlds Test Event, followed by Rizhao, China for the 2013 World Championships. I am very excited about both!!