The weekend of 27th
of June saw me compete in the Connaught Championships in Galway Bay Sailing Club on the west coast of Ireland. The forecast was looking windy so I was feeling confident; partially because I’m a heavy person for a 4.7 at 64 kg but also because I am now on the Irish 4.7 squad so I’m training with my main competition.
The Connaught's were scheduled to be held over two days. The first race on the Saturday was a very good race for me as the wind was around 15-20 knots and around 2-3 foot waves. By the first windward mark I was in second place and I managed to hold that for the remainder of the race. I finished second and was very happy with that result.
The second race was similar in wind and wave conditions so I was confident that I could pull another good result out of the bag and I did. By the first windward mark I was in second place again and also managed to hold that result for the remainder of the race. At this point in the event I was tied first so it was going to be the next race that decided the overnight leader.
The third and final race of the event was my best race ever. From the start I was fast and had a 100 boat length lead at the first windward mark. This got me really excited but I had to keep reminding myself that the race is not over until you cross the finish line. For the remainder of the race I just sailed conservatively and covered the fleet. By the end of the race I had a big lead and crossed the line in first place.
Overall I finished racing on the Saturday with 5 points having two seconds and a first and was the overnight leader.
Saturday night it got really windy with gusts over 25 knots. Racing was delayed on Sunday morning as we waited to hear if we were going to launch. Eventually at 11.00 the race officer announced that racing would continue for the Radial and Full Rigs but the 4.7 fleet would be stood down. I had already checked the rules to see how many races they needed to complete the event and with three races complete my results stood. I was the overall winner of the event with 31 boats in the fleet.
This week I’m back training in Rush with my coach Alan Ruigrok and later with the ISA (Irish Sailing Association) team under Ben and Rory Lynch in preparation for the 4.7 worlds in Holland in August.
Thanks to Curls Photography for permission to use the photographs. To view more images click here.