The End of the Worlds (All Things Weird and Wonderful)

I didn’t want to write this, initially. But time is a great healer and nothing looks so bad with a good cushion of time.

It’s been a busy time since my last blog post. A couple of days after returning from the Europeans in Dublin we headed out to Santander in northern Spain for the 2014 World Championships Test Event. I made some silly mistakes and went into medal race day in 7th position overall. Unfortunately lack of wind on medal race day meant that racing was abandoned so there was no opportunity to improve on that. Next year… 🙂

After a week at home we flew out to Rizhao, China, for the 2013 World Championships. It was a bit of an unknown quantity. We took out a lot of dried food with us! It was actually fine; all the competitors stayed in the one hotel, which catered for us, too. (Though some of the English translations of what the various foods were were a little bit disconcerting. e.g. the bread basket was labelled ‘vomit’. Seriously! I am genuinely not joking!) Everyone staying in the same place made it quite intense, I have never done an event like that before where you can’t really get away from the competitive atmosphere. An amazing experience, though. The culture was just so different from anything else I have ever encountered.

The event was a tricky one for me. My initial reaction was serious disappointment at finishing 28th, but actually there were too many positives and top 10’s around the 1st windward mark in races for the disappointment to last too long. Plus a year ago I would have been really happy with a top 30 at a light wind Worlds. Like I said at the beginning of this post, a better sense of perspective comes with time!

Chloe and I decided to take 2 nights in Beijing on the way home. We spend so much time traveling to amazing parts of the world, only to see the airport, the boat park and the gym, so we went on a proper whistle stop adventure of the sights. From a tuk tuk ride around Old Beijing at night to seeing the Bird’s Nest Stadium, from watching the flag being lowered on Tiananmen Square at sunset to walking along the Great Wall of China, we certainly crammed it all in. It was fab to be tourists for a change!

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step!

We landed on 10th October, late on Thursday night, and on Saturday morning we had to leave super early in the morning to drive to Whitstable in Kent for a National qualifier, to qualify for the Worlds and Europeans next year! Needless to say, neither the temperature change nor the jet lag were particularly pleasant!! I was doing all right until about 2pm and then the tiredness really hit! Fortunately, in my super organised alter ego, I had planned for this and put a flask of coffee on the back of the committee boat. Desperate times, desperate measures. I have never had to get my caffeine fix whilst out on the water before!! Despite the jet lag I managed to post two semi-decent results on the Saturday before lack of wind caused an abandonment for the day. On Sunday it was breezier and I finished 2nd and 1st in the two races to finish 2nd overall and 1st Lady. First time I have ever been 1st Lady at a Qualifier, so that’s another thing ticked off!! Now I just need to win one outright!!

After a few days at home I have fully immersed myself back into training down in Weymouth. I find the best way to get over a disappointment is to just get on with doing everything you can to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen the next time around. I have some ideas for some big technique changes to work on over the next few months, which should fingers crossed make a big difference to my sailing performance. Nose to the grindstone!