I’m happy to report that Kiel week went very well this year! I kept up my building momentum from both Canadians and Europeans. My focus goal for this event was to have solid starts, and I managed that in 7/9 races leading to good results. The other two races I had a little too good of a start and received a BFD (scored as DNC by the race committee) and the other I got rolled quickly. After two days of heavy wind and two days of light wind, I finished the regatta in 18th place out of 60 sailors. I am proud of my result, as I met my goal of finishing in the top half. I think with a stronger 2nd day when it was windy with chop from all directions I could have made the medal race. I am keen to focus on improving my boat speed in those conditions so that next time there is a similar level fleet I ensure my participation in the race on the final day which is often broadcasted so everyone at home can watch.
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I have just returned from the hardest and longest event I’ve ever competed in. The Laser Senior European Championships just wrapped up in Porto, Portugal this past Saturday. Six days of racing against the best in the world was an incredible learning experience. From frustration in light winds over the first couple days to gruelling 23-minute upwinds in 20 knots in the last few the event offered every challenge imaginable.
I finished 127 out of 162 competitors and 5th Canadian. I was very pleased to have my best races come on the last two days in the heaviest winds of the event. This gave me confidence in my ability in the conditions I don’t generally favour. This event made me realize how much stronger these European fleets are and how much more time I need to spend starting next to the best to beat them.
Kiel week lived up to its reputation with heavy wind and cold weather. This event threw everything it could at me from big breeze and a strong fleet to unpredictable racing schedules (delaying us all day then launching us at 7 pm). My results might suggest that I didn’t have a good event but in fact, it was a great learning experience for where I need to be in order to be successful competing in these types of fleets and at world-class events. Not only do you need to have a complete sailing skill set but you also need to be in the right spot mentally to compete at 100%. In the case of this event I was not prepared fully in either category. I did however spend the regatta focused on my starting and saw positive results in this aspect towards the end of the event. I plan to carry this onto u21 worlds in Gdynia! Overall Kiel Week was a great event, a fantastic learning experience and I’m sure I will be back in the future.