I along with many other British sailors (and a token Irish 49er guy) flew into Toulon airport in the South of France ready for the next event in the world cup tour. The first exciting thing to happen was spotting Gavin Henson (International rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant) in Toulon airport!
During my 10 days off after Palma I managed to pick up a nasty cold which did not make training before the event a pleasant experience. I managed an hour of short course racing with the foreign girls before I had to take myself ashore to recover. I felt pretty weak and sailing was only making me feel worse. Fortunately for me the next 2 days that I was planning to train before the event were so windy that hardly anyone braved sailing. Poor Sari Multala, the current reigning World Champion from Finland was the victim of an extremely nasty head injury. Apparently she was hit by the boom during a gybe and the cut on her head was so deep you could see bone! Needless to say she did not participate in the regatta, so best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.
I received sad news the day before the event that my Grandma had passed away. I promised myself I wouldn't let it affect me and although when I was racing I was 100% focussed, the fact that I hadn't really eaten or drunk enough the day before meant that my body really struggled to cope with the 15-20 knots of breeze we had for day one of the event. It really is the little things that make the difference at this level of racing so I learnt an important lesson there that no matter how bad I might be feeling emotionally or physically its crucial to be on top of the things that I can control like nutrition and hydration. After day one I was lying in 38th overall, not exactly where I wanted to be!
The weather forecast for Hyeres for the rest of the week was for very light winds, so on day two the race committee decided to start our fleet at 09:30 and do 3 races whilst there was some wind. It was a long day of very close racing where if you sneezed (quite appropriate for me) you could lose 10 boats! I scored 14, 14, 7 which I thought was a fairly average performance although it turns out that it was quite a good day compared to many in the fleet and I moved up to 30th overall.
Throughout the week I struggled to get to grips with the conditions and could not pin point where and why I was making losses. The times when I made gains I could not work out why that had happened either! Talking to the other Brits though it turns out that they too had no clue and were finding it equally tough which made me feel a bit better about the whole thing. I finished 30th overall which I was disappointed with but not despondent about. For full results click HERE
Straight after the last day of racing Charlotte Dobson and I packed up our boats and bags and set off home. I was the only one of us insured on the car so had to do all the driving. I just wanted to get home as soon as possible so powered by redbull and coffee managed to do the 10 hour drive to Calais to catch the ferry only stopping for a 45 min snooze at 5am. Charlotte was a real trooper and managed to stay awake to keep me company for the journey. We started watching the Royal Wedding whilst we were on the ferry and continued to watch a bit more when we stopped in a service station for fuel for the car and fuel for us (coffee). Once we were home and the trailer unloaded I managed to stay awake until 10pm, that meant that I had only slept for about an hour in total in the past 34 hours…EPIC!
Today I am doing all my washing, ready to repack it tomorrow to go training in Ireland with Annalise Murphy for 5 days. We are then both going to trek over to Pwllheli for the laser qualifier on the 7/8 May. Its been a fast paced few weeks and its not looking to slow down for another week or so but I am confident that my training programme will see me on top form for the next World Cup event I will be attending, the Sail 4 Gold regatta in Weymouth at the beginning of June.