The 2013 RYA Youth Nationals are fast approaching and the excitement builds! This will be my very first race in a Radial where more than two other boats are competing, and marks a substantial milestone for me and no doubt hundreds of other sailors across the country.
With winter now officially over, the summer racing season will inevitably engulf my sailing time, and so I’ve been working really hard over the chilly winter to get as much time in the Radial as possible. This weekend will be my final sailing weekend before I’m up in sunny Scotland for an intense week of racing, so I’ve decided to dedicate these two days to my club so I can get as much time in the boat as possible, and really crack on with what I personally need to work on.
The Youth Nationals should be an absolutely amazing first event in the Radial and so I’m not pitching my aims too high, but a decent result would be pleasing! It will also hopefully get me up to the speed of the fleet faster, and learn to swim in the deep end. Discovering how the Radial fleet likes to race and getting to know what kind of style everyone sails in will also be a consideration, so that for the Qualifiers later on in the year, I won’t be bemused by the stranger ways of the fleet!
The only downside is the 10 hour or so drive, which will be a bit of a slog,but I hope I can get some sleep on the way and stay fresh for the event. I’m hoping for a range of wind as it is a definite process regatta for me, and so I’d like to learn in all wind strengths. My strength in the Radial seems to be light and medium winds, while I have not been quite so strong in the windy stuff, which is a bit of a change from the Topper. If it does end up being windy all week, there’s an excellent Ice cream parlour where I can refuel on the final day of the event! It should also be great meeting up with some of the friends who have moved on to other classes and obviously my friends who are still in Toppers but sailing another boat too.
It will also be a good opportunity to use all the knowledge gleaned from my squad training, and get the Rooster kit on for a fantastic week of racing. It's very lucky I've got some really warm Rooster gear including the Thermaflex top, which will definitely keep me toasty on the long days, and let me focus on the racing and not my shivering body!
See you on the other side!