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Kit Guide

Adventures in Holland

By Matt Smith 30th September 2020
Hi, Matt here. Ive been doing loads of sailing in the time since my last blog. Two weeks ago I had the Royal Harwich open, part of the eastern travellers series. I had an alright event coming third counting two seconds and a third, discarding a sixth. I was happy with this as my main aim for this season is to become more consistent. My friend Max had a storming event, winning both of the first races and finishing first over all, a third was also enough to keep my lead in the overall results. However from Thursday to Saturday last week was the event I had been looking forward to for the whole of the winter, the European Championships in La Bruinisse, Holland. We travelled over on the ferry Tuesday evening to arrive on Wednesday morning. We had a days training on Wednesday before the racing started the next day. The racing was great, run amazingly with fantastic courses and race management. La Bruinisse is massive and even though it isn't tidal there can be fairly large waves because of the big ride the waves have across the giant water. When the gusts and waves came through I could hike with ease thanks to my new pair of Pro Laced Boots, the support in the ankle and across the foot meant I could hike for longer with no difficulty at all. The first day however, was quite light with occasional gusts coming through. Im better in light days so had a really good day, 9, 3, 2 placing me second overall after the first day. The second day wasn't bad but not so good and I dropped to 8th with a 14th, 13th, 8th and 21st after hitting two marks. The final day brought no wind, we had a two hour postponement before launching. The wait was made fun though as the Dutch made a circle on the beach and played music then showed us how to catch crabs from the very shallow and crab full water at the beach. The light winds meant I had a better day again getting a 7th 3rd and 12th. This placed me 9th overall at the end of the event. At the beginning of the season I said I wanted to be in the top 15 at this event so with a 9th I succeeded! The Eastern squad did really well in the PROs with Bethan taking second and Archie fifth. This was my first international event and I loved it! I will definitely be coming back next year for the worlds! Happy sailing, Matt

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