It seems forever since I have done any international class racing and the “rust” showed. Simple decisions can make all the difference and my decision making was perhaps not what it should have been!
Being out of practice I decided that it was definitely worth doing the Practice race and the conditions were glamour. Indeed, it turned out to be the best conditions of the whole regatta. Big waves and a strong sea breeze kicked in at 15:00 like clockwork. I picked up the boat from Jean-Luc Michon the day before the practice race. It actually belonged to his daughter Pernelle. We collected our Australian boats in Melbourne at the same time. Therefore the boat was only 1 number different from my boat at home and with my sail, tiller, and South East sailing ropes (plus Gareth Griffiths traveller) it felt exactly the same as my boat at home.
This weekend I did my 1st Sunday club race of the season at Castle Cove Sailing Club. The conditions in Portland harbour were great: 20 knots, gusting 26 although there are no photos to prove this because the race team of Kev and Dave had their hands full looking after the fleet and perhaps for me it was good there was no photographic evidence after such a long time out of the boat.
Looking back it seems a long time ago I won the Apprentice Masters Worlds in Holland and you may be surprised to read that I was not completely happy with my performance. Lack of practice in light areas showed and it is definitely something I need to work on. Read more...
“This is how it ends,” I thought to myself as the boom pushed down hard on my buoyancy aid, pinning me to the centreboard casing as the boat, slowly, ever so slowly, capsized. The relationship with a new boat is always a difficult one. The 49er certainly taught me a few lessons, the hard way, which I will long remember, and this was perhaps the Solo’s way of teaching me that you need to let the kicker off before you tack!
And now for something completely different! After 3 regattas in a row (Princess Sofia, Hyeres, and the Europeans) it was time for a well-earned holiday, and what better than have my first ever attempt to foil, and where better than Murcia!
The beauty of Provela is there are several boats all designed to foil such as the F101, Whisper, Whazp, Moth, rather than retrofitting hulls which for example may well weigh 3 times as much as a Moth if not more. The F101 is a trimaran with code zero, meaning it can foil in the lightest of winds and when it comes off the foils it is super stable. Think of foiling with stabilisers. The Whazp and Moth are the other end of the scale, a tiny boat (think body of Waszp or Moth with wings) and just 1 sail. Finally, with the Whisper you can tick all the boxes: twin trapeze, jib, main and asymmetric spinnaker. With Simon Cooper, we got it to foil both up and downwind, admittedly on quite hot angles due to the wind.
Well the year is gradually drawing to a close and I write this as I pack to head out for Vilamoura, Portugal, for our 2nd Camp there. With the temperature in the UK dropping sharply we are able to access much warmer training here, on the same time zone, with just a 2 hour flight. Tuula enjoyed a long break from sailing after Japan and now is on the way back up while Lucia is working hard in Argentina, where the weather is much better than Europe this time of year!
As I write this the World Cup finale in Marseille seems a long time ago. Indeed next week I shall be jumping on a plane to Japan to start preparation for the 1st World Cup of the 2018/2019 season and it may be the last full World Cup series we do in this cycle because in the Olympic year the World Championship (in Victoria during February) and venue specific training in Enoshima take priority.
Well straight after I returned from Tokyo it was time to race again myself, this time at the Radial Inlands. A solid first day saw it all to play for but lack of focus and starting at the wrong end and overlaying the windward mark twice (once on starboard and once on port) on the second day pushed me down to third overall. It just felt as if I was out of phase all day! Having said that Ben Whaley was a deserved winner.
Every year there is a key regatta (every 4 years it is the Olympics) and for me this year my key regatta was the Masters Worlds in Croatia. I arrived on September 19th, just in time to see the finish of the Senior Laser Standard Worlds Championships. It actually took our plane two attempts to land as with landing gear down and just a few metres off the tarmac, our Easyjet flight was temporary diverted to Italy due to bad weather. Fortunately, the bad weather delay meant there was no racing, so I didn’t miss anything
We set out with probably our strongest team GB yet for the 2016 Masters Europeans in Hvar, Croatia.
He still races himself and in 2016 he topped the UK Radial Ladder and was crowned Masters Radial Europeans Champion.
Jon Emmett has over 20 years of coaching experience from grass roots to Olympic Gold.