The 2015 season has come to an end and it is gutting to think that I am going to have to wait another 6 months before the next Championship season starts up again.
This year has been a great one in the RS200 with Sophie. We have always been strong in a breeze and this played to our favour with a nuclear Sprints where we were 2nd on count back and a marginal to breezy Southern Championships where again we placed 2nd.
This became a bit of a trend as we went into the Nationals in Abersoch. After a wobbly start we managed to finish on a high and took 2nd place again. "Always the bridesmaid" was starting to ring true, but Sophie has done a great job all season and I could not have done it without her.
I then got the opportunity to sail a Merlin Rocket at their Nationals in Whitstable. This was a number of firsts for me as I had not raced a Merlin before nor been to the East Coast for a sailing event so I was very excited about the Champs. Sailing with my mate, Ben Saxton, we knew we had our work cut out for us but we sailed a great and consistent event and manage to win. But also, it had a bit more about it. My Uncle had been a Merlin sailor and before he passed away he had been runner up on count back and it was with a sense of pride that I was able to make it so the family name could be on the trophy. The Merlin fleet were super friendly and I can't wait to get back in one!
Bottom reach at Whitstable
My final big event of the year was slightly different. I went yachting in a Swan 42 at the New York Yacht Club with a team from Itchenor. This was probably the most spectacular sailing event I have ever been to. Seen as the pinnacle of amateur sailing there was no holding back from the Americans and they put on the most amazing sailing event with live feeds and commentary for every race. All the rig settings were locked and sails provided so all the boats were equal and this meant that the racing was unbelievably close. We managed to finish 8th out of 19 and for a little club on a river, we were very happy with the result. (see race replays: http://livestream.com/Degan/Invitationalcup?logged_in=1442329544 )
Final windward mark after 1 hour of racing - Close one design racing!
So all in all a very enjoyable and rewarding season. After lots of hard work it was nice to see it all starting to pay off in the 200s and we are looking forward to next year.
However, there will be a new challenge to contend with next season as I have recently started sailing International 14s, which is a whole new kettle of fish! Sailing with my brother, Jack, we are looking forward to the World Championships in Carnac, France in September 2016. This is a steep learning curve for us, both in a sailing and in an engineering sense, but a challenge is always fun. I will be trying to keep you updated with all the efforts we have learning to sail these beasts in less than a year leading up to the Worlds. At least in Jack I know I have a solid team mate to get stuck into it with!
First blast in the i14
Thanks again to Steve and his Rooster team for supporting me throughout the season. It's nice to be supported and to represent a brand that is run for sailors by sailors. Now to get stuck into winter training on the bike, in the boat and hopefully in the mountains!