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Kit Guide

Round up of my past few events

By Matt Smith 2nd October 2020
Hello there! Its been a while since my last blog post so I thought I would start with a little round up of the past few events. A while ago it was the RS Feva nationals, and after a tough few days of qualifying, with various disasters including shroud pins falling out, mainsheet blocks being mangled and toe straps breaking we just managed to qualify for gold fleet, and with some top ten results we managed to claw it back and finish 24th overall. This was mine and Issy's first open meeting and we were counting very low scores after gear failure so we were happy with the result. Rest assured the problems have all been fixed now. Results for that event here Then the next weekend I had the RS Tera Eastern Championships at Alton Water Sports Centre. It was a really great event, excellent racing coupled with an enjoyable evening dinner and social, featuring a hard fought game of rugby (we lost). The racing was really close throughout the fleet and I finished second, a result I was happy with. The next weekend it was back down to Alton Water for their Double handed RS open. Once again a really well run event with a great social aspect too. We competed in the RS Feva class and managed to win the event after a really strong couple of days. Thanks to Issy for doing such a great job crewing for both this event and the nationals. After that it was down to Oxford Sailing Club for the RS Tera Nationals. These were great fun, it was good to see all my friends from around the country and the racing was close once again. I came away in 11th which wasn't really what I was hoping for, but I knew I could do better so I knew I should just put it behind me and move on. Now back to the recent stuff! Last weekend it was the Brightlingsea Sailing Club RS Tera train and Race. On the Saturday we went out and did lots of practice starting with coaches Sarah, Dave, Hobie, Mike and Rob. I was in Sarah and Dave's group so worked particularly with them and I picked up a huge amount - massive thanks to them. We also worked on downwind boat on boat tactics and this was useful to show us how to utilise the waves to get overlaps. On the Sunday it was the racing. We set out straight after the briefing and followed the committee boat to the start area. After doing practice beats and assessing the area I decided the best tactic was to bang right, tacking onto port straight away from the committee boat or starting just behind the fleet on port at the committee boat to get to the channel first and and get pulled out to the windward mark. This worked perfectly on the first race as I was first to the windward mark, however I lost a couple of places downwind by not taking a transit off the leeward buoy (silly mistake!) so managed to finish third, an okay start. Then I had mainsheet troubles in-between the first and second races so had to swap it for my friend Dylan's painter - thanks Dylan for that! However I did arrive two minutes late for the start as a result so finished tenth. In the third race I managed to arrive on time, start on port at the committee boat and get to the channel first. I continued this strategy throughout the race for a race win. Then in the final race I finished second to Dylan (good karma possibly ;) ? ). This was just enough to allow me to win the event on count back from Will Caiger. Big thanks to ALL involved in organising the event and to the coaches for helping. Also the cake in the galley was particularly good so thanks to the ladies in the galley for that!
Giving a speech after a win at my home club. Giving a speech after a win at my home club.
So what a busy couple of months! In a week's time now I will be heading over to Holland for the RS Tera World Championships so I'm out practicing whenever I can for that! Sadly however, unlike some of my friends, I'm still in school so can't be out training during the day like they can, ahh silly education. Then after the Worlds is Pyefleet week, Brightlingsea's legendary race week and one of my favourite weeks of the year, I can't wait! Thanks! Matt

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