Hello. This is my first blog as part of Team Rooster, and I'm very happy to be onboard! I am 14 years old and sail a Topper in the National Intermediate Squad, but am transitioning to Radials while competing in my Topper.
Today I took part in two enjoyable club races at my club Queen Mary Sailing Club. I was greeted by a tropical 2 degrees and 12-16 knots; the stuff sailing is all about. Just in case you were wondering, I was fully clad in Rooster poly pros, hot legs and pro hikers to keep me toasty! I managed to beat all the Standards to the top mark in my Radial and hold that for the next lap, only to be beaten by three of the ten full rigs by the closest of margins. The second race went similarly. My main focus for the day was learning how to change gears from hiking, and not too overpowered, to totally overpowered!
It's really enjoyable to club race without any pressure to perform and to be able to focus on learning and having fun.
We do so much serious competition over the year that it is easy to forget that club racing is brilliant. The simplicity of having a race which doesn't count towards squad selection or qualifying for an event is a luxury, which really lets you totally enjoy the experience. Of course, doing well in an event that counts is equally as satisfying, but you always subconsciously have that nagging doubt that something will go wrong and it will turn from fun to frustrating! Club racing is a rarity for me, having to whizz up and down the country to training and events, but when I do take part, it's a very social and fun experience, while staying fiercely competitive and at a high calibre of sailing.
It's reassuring to know that when I'm older and I've got a dodgy knee and a bad elbow, there will be a fantastic place to sail with one of the largest Laser fleets in the country to go and have a blast with. If you don't ever Club race, give it a go. You may surprise yourself...
Photo thanks to Bob Horne