I didn't miss a 300 Nats between 98 and 2005, but it's been a bit more challenging since then, and I've often had to miss a day, if I got there at all. So I'm delighted to be lined up for all four days this time. Forecast is great too. Some marginal planing today for the lightweights, a bit more breeze tomorrow, and then big Saturday! I've been sailing the 300 at Thorney Island, but not on the circuit. It's reassuring when you see the guys like Dave Acres and Mark Riddington who beat you more often than not in 2nd and 3rd overall, behind Steve, who was back in the 300 today after a long gap. I wish I could get up to speed as quickly as him, and that I had the boat handling confidence to fight for the start, in the way I will after a bit of practice.
Neap tides in the Solent meant that the flow was not the dominant factor, although in race two there were some interesting decisions to make, given shifts, and a turning tide, starting to run stronger inshore against us upwind on lap two, but stronger offshore on lap three. Some good waves, and by keeping the nose pointing downhill it was possible for the big blokes like me to minimise the losses on the lighterweights.
I'm experimenting with something new: after racing I threw on my running gear and did a 20 minute jog, followed by a proper stretch. So far it feels good, and I certainly loosened up: have to see how stiff I am tomorrow (or not).
I was fairly pleased with the 6th ad 9th combination to lie 6th overall. So I treated myself to a pair of the new Rooster Pro Laced boots (http://www.roostersailing.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product_Code=RPLB
) after racing. I sometimes suffer with ankle pain as described by Steve in the video at that link. They felt really good when I put them on. Report on their performance in action to follow.