For the first part of this year I have been doing less Figaro sailing in order to put some hours in in a 470 with old friend, house mate and dwarf Rob Gullan. We had talked about doing this together for a long time and at the end of 2012 we realised that not only were we the perfect weight but there was a very good old boat on the market at a silly price. Not only this but the worlds are in La Rochelle this year making the season relatively cheap by Olympic standards. Since picking up the boat in January we have spent a lot of hours training in the freezing waters of Southampton before heading out to Palma Mallorca for the first World Cup event of the season. A journey that wasn’t totally without its drama. Not long after I pulled out of Calais to start the long drive through snowy France I ran into stationary traffic on the motorway and put my head down in the Curradinghy van to get some sleep. Waking up two hours later with ice on the INSIDE of the windscreen I realised I’d left the key in the ignition and a tiny fan had drained the battery. With no one near by to jump start me I slept some more and woke up to find myself stuck other outside lane with traffic flowing around me! Luckily a Good Samaritan stopped other middle of the road and jump started me.
Being out here living between a camper van and the boat park on the beach for two weeks before the regatta has been great. We have probably doubled our total hours other boat and have had chance to line up against a lot of different boats from all over the place. For the second week we trained alongside the GBR development squad with coach Steve Irish as well as doing some informal racing with 40 other boats. I think it’s fair to say we have been on a steep learning curve. There are some conditions where we can hold with the top guys for half a race and other times when the likes of Luke patience and Joe Glanfield have sailed passed us like they were is different boat.
After two races, one fairly benign and one sailed in more wind and waves than we’ve seen ithe boat so far we’re currently lying 54th out of 68 boats over night. If we can improve on this other next four days we’ll be pretty pleased. It wouldn’t be realistic to jump into a tough fleet like the 470, where a lot of people have been sailing the boats for ten years, and expect to be at the front. Really this event is about finding where we have got to in learning to sail the boat and identifying areas to work on for the worlds in August. Although before this Rob has to finish Uni and I’ll be fairly busy with the Figaro.