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WARNING: Rigging your Laser can be dangerous!
My training hasn't really gone to plan over the last month. I mentioned in my last post that I had picked up a cough and cold which I am still suffering the after effects of now! I tried to go training in Weymouth but really struggled to do anything so rested as much as possible to help speed up my recovery. Although I am now feeling so much better than I was I have still got an annoying cough which comes on when I'm exercising, talking too much or laughing! I am now on my third course of antibiotics and I'm taking super strength cough medicine so hopefully by the start of the Worlds I will be 100% healthy.
Last week I was in Melbourne in Australia for the Sail Melbourne Regatta. Competing in the event was a good way for me to get back into my sailing and it was also my last opportunity to race in a quality fleet before the Worlds. The day before the event I managed to injure myself whilst rigging…idiot! I smashed my big toe with my mast while trying to get the two sections together, it hurt so much and wouldn't stop bleeding. I had to pad and tape my injured toe for racing and was also taking the strongest painkillers I was allowed. I had some good races during the week but also some pretty bad ones. My favourite bad moment was when I had approached the windward mark on port within the 3 boat length circle only to find a wall of starboard tack boats. I had nowhere to go and I infringed whilst trying to weave my way though. By the time I had done my two turn penalty I was DFL (dead f*@&ing last) so had quite a lot on to try and salvage my race. I managed to pass one boat halfway along the first downwind, only to have her cruise back past me before the leeward mark…which she then hit (not just a tap, she hammered into it). I turned a blind eye as we were both a long way behind the rest of the fleet and I know that I shouldn't really have been that far back anyway and that if I hadn't been there then there wouldn't have been anyone behind her to see her hit it and therefore it would never have happened!?! She shall remain anonymous. My best race was the last of the event in which I was 2nd. It was really light winds and I led the whole of the first lap only to be overtaken by a tiny Chinese sailor who must be about 15kg lighter than me (and I'm fairly small compared to most in the fleet), so I was actually pretty happy with that race! I finished the event 11th overall which when I consider how little training I have done in the last month wasn't too bad.
I am currently in Fremantle in Western Australia and have just done 3 days of training with the other British girls. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I don't seem to have lost any hiking stamina despite not sailing much recently and that I am still on the pace on the downwinds. The downwind sailing has been amazing as the waves can be so big and steep that you can get up some serious pace, even in a Radial! One of the British Radial sailors, Chloe Martin had a scary moment as she capsized in shark infested waters whilst trying to have a pee...apparently righting your boat with your wetsuit around your ankles is not easy!
I still have 2 weeks to go until the Worlds so the plan is for more training, working on boat handling and technique in the Fremantle conditions. I'm also looking forward to doing some training races with all the foreign Radial sailors so that come day one of the Worlds I am ready to race. All l I need to do now is get 100% healthy and avoid being eaten by a shark!