Last autumn I was selected for The Topper National Racing Squad (a combination of National Youth Squad and National Junior Development Squad) after my first year of competing in the bigger 5.3 rig.
Over the winter I have been training with my squad and outside of my squad in Poole, Parkstone and Rockley.
NRS 1: We arrived in a cold Cardiff in November of last year. This was our first squad weekend and our first opportunity to meet our new coaches in: Stevie Wilson, Adam Cockerill, Tim Hulse and Sally Dugdale. The wind for weekend was light so we focused on more light wind exercises. We also did some races towards the end of the weekend in which these light wind techniques came in useful.
NRS 2: When we arrived in a freezing Carsington we were greeted by a blanket of fog. This was a stronger wind weekend so it was very much stronger wind techniques that we focussed on. As this was the last weekend before Christmas the whole squad, coaches and parents gathered for food at a pub near the club on the Saturday evening.
The Winter Regatta: When I got to a cold and miserable Portland I was not expecting much, however after Race 1, which I finished 8th
my hopes rose. After day 1 which was a steady force 2-3 we completed 3 races with all of my results being in the top 15, so I lay 19th
overnight. Day 2 racing was delayed for 4 hours due to the strong wind conditions (averaging 25+ Knots), however when the wind died we went out and despite my poor start I managed to finish the Race in 13th
, no more were completed though as a 35 knot squall came through! Overall I finished 21st
, a vast improvement on my 147th
NRS 3: As Grafham was cancelled due to the snow Rutland was our next destination. It was very light, so it was a theory weekend, bar about an hour, however despite this I took a lot from it.
NRS 4: Perfect wind greeted us at Northampton for the first day’s sailing, we were able to be on the water all day and the brilliant training and lessons learnt will be extremely useful in future. Very light winds greeted us on day 2 with an overcast sky, whilst in the training rooms it began it snow and by the time we went out there was 2 inches of it on the ground!