My First Youth Nationals
Hello, I'm Frances. I am so excited to be part of the Team and start blogging! I sail Toppers at the moment but am looking to move into Lasers. So after four sails in a Laser I decided the next step was the Youth Nationals, duhh!
It was a five hour drive (oh joy) to Pwllheli, which was actually quite amusing as we did some lamb spotting; there were so many of them and they were adorable! When we arrived at the little holiday house I burst in the door to have first dibs on the bedrooms then went straight to sleep.
The day before the regatta started went in a bit of a blur. There were so many sailors and everyone seemed to know what they were doing. I got my boat measured and put my stickers on - applying hull stickers is clearly a skill I am yet to acquire. Thankfully there were some friendly faces from Toppers which definitely made it a little less daunting.
Monday came and I was a bit nervous but raring to go. Unfortunately the wind decided to have a duvet day which meant sitting around on the beach in sailing kit (it could be worse) under indefinite postponement. Highlight of the week of course! When many of us doubted we were going out (some even got changed) the race committee announced that the wind had got out of bed so off we went. We only completed one race and I came 19th. Not amazing but I didn't come last!
Tuesday saw medium breeze and I was buzzing as the rest of the week was forecast to be very windy and I was expecting to be upside down a lot. I managed to get an eighth in the first race by just sticking to the middle of the course and playing the shifts. This was my best result all week and I was very happy! The waves were really nasty and choppy, but I have been working on my wave technique recently so it was the perfect conditions to try it out.
Ahh Windy Wednesday. With forecast gusts of high 20's it was looking pretty sketchy AND the Radial Girls had trackers that day! I warned my parents not to be surprised when my boat suddenly stopped as I capsized. Luckily for me the racing was abandoned after the first start, although I did get to double figures on capsizes...thankfully I was wearing my new Supertherm Top which kept me nice and warm on the water, even though I went for a bit of a swim!
The next day was also looking breeze on. After a three hour postponement we set out for a long day on the water to make up for the races lost the day before (seven hours!). Clearly I was too ambitious as I got a U flag in the first race...oops. Following this I got two 19ths and a 16th. It was a hard day with a lot of hiking and my legs were very happy after the last beat!
The last day had a forecast of around 15 knots. I got two 16ths but the first one was black flagged! What can I say...
Overall it was a really fun week and an amazing experience.