It’s always been just one of those things. We’ve always wanted to train more but have always been restricted by pesky things that hold us back, namely University, Girlfriends, the need to not freeze to death, etc. At the end of every month we have a meeting (well, a few beers in the pub, but I do bring a notepad so it looks official) to decide what we have done well and whatwe could have done better. Every single month we look back and say “hell, I wish we could have sailed more”. Weekend sailing just doesn’t cut it, but we rarely have the chance to sail more. However, during the Christmas holidays we have always put the effort in to make a run for the door to get a few hours in each day on the water. We bravely side step the mince pies, leap over the pile of presents, duck under the flying, erm, ham…. (I’m not sure where I’m going with this…) and drive over to Lymington for a sail. The last two years it was in the 49er, this year we were in the 800.
Happily, our main sponsor, motivator, back-up driver, coach and biggest fan (out of the two fans we have, the other being my girlfriend.. who isn’t big..) managed to take time out of his job (running the world) and jumped into a RIB to take some photos. That’s right, our Dad was out braving the cold in the SMALLEST boat you’ve seen in 25 knots of breeze and waves to shoot some photos and provide some general coaching tips.
We sailed for 2 hours in 18 to 25 knots (Easterly, ish). Considering this was our 4th sail in the boat (Jus has had a number of Uni commitments to attend… *cough* skiing *cough*), and first in more than 14 knots, I think we did pretty well. We were throwing in gybes, downwind 360’s, gybe drops and s-curves without any issue and didn’t capsize or get anywhere near messing it up, even when the big breeze was rolling in. I’m fairly confident we can handle the boat in all conditions so it’s just down to working on upwind boat speed before we’re ready for racing.
Here are a few pictures of the training: