ce our last update at the end of January, we’ve been doing a great deal of training in the 29er. This has meant getting on the water every weekend, plus a couple of times during the week, now the days are longer. On-the-water sessions have included training with two other top UK teams, National Youth Squad camps, domestic open meetings and RYA tailored support camps during half term. When not afloat, we’re both working hard on a tailored fitness program for the summer, as well as a few hours of boat work when needed.
Currently we’re both in the middle of exams – AS-level for Sam and A-levels for me. My exams are crucial to get into Southampton University to study Mechanical Engineering. This has meant a lot of extra time revising as well as the heavy training schedule.
Our goals for this year are to first qualify to attend the ISAF Youth Worlds in Croatia by winning the RYA Youth Nationals at HISC. Secondly to medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds, and thirdly transition into the Olympic 49er class in time to compete in the Autumn Olympic ranking events.
The first event of the 2011 domestic season (following the Worlds in Argentina) was the a Harken Grand Prix event at Rutland in March. The first day involved 5 races in medium strength, cold, shifting winds. Over night we were joint first with another non-youth team. On day 2 we managed to pull out a nice lead of 8 points counting all top 3s and a discarding a 7th
. This event was a secondary indicator for the Youth World’s selection, so we were happy with our performance as this meant we were on track to be selected.
After another weekend’s training, we were straight into the RYA Youth Nationals at HISC. We had 5 days of good racing in a variety of conditions. We were able to but together a very consistent series and come out on top at the end of the week. We were 6 points clear of the next boat that was from Denmark, and had already secured our place at the Youth Worlds, with a day to spare.
After the Youth Nationals we had a couple of days at home before heading off to a French Eurocup event at Cavalaire in the south of France. We were using this event for training, and a chance to practice in an international level fleet. The conditions were very variable with the wind coming off the shore for the whole of the event. The first couple of days were sailed in 20+knots, so some very interesting sailing! By the end of the event we were 5th
, only being 4 points outside the top 3.
Once Easter was out the way, both Sam and I were straight into preparing for summer exams with occasional breaks from revision to go sailing. We took a day out of revision to compete at the Bough Beech open (near Gatwick). The wind was about 15+ knots and all over the place as it was a small lake. We finished the event with only 4 points having won all the races.
Over half term we attended a camp for the GBR team attending the Youth Worlds at the Plas Menai centre in north Wales. Over the 4 days we did lots of team-building activities, as well as lots of classroom sessions with specialists in areas such as protests, performance lifestyle, physiology and psychology.
Looking forward, once exams are out the way, we are competing at the Pwllheli Harken Grand Prix, as a work up event for the Youth Worlds. We then fly straight out to Zadar, Croatia with the rest of the GBR team early the next day.
The Youth Worlds in July will mark the end of our 29er sailing career, and our time in the RYA’s Youth Racing Programme. We then intend to start sailing a 49er over the rest of the summer and do a few qualifiers. Hopefully after a few months, we can qualify to join the RYA’s Olympic Programme and start climbing the ladder to the Olympic Performance Squad…
Very many thanks to all who have continued to sponsor us and helped us to get to where we are now.
We very much hope that you can continue your support going into the Olympic programme