World Championships 2016 Lake Garda Torbole

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My packing for the world championships started on Monday night and we had everything packed in our newly converted van for Tuesday night.  We left for Glynis Wisbey’s house to stay the night and pick up Lewis May, The next day we had an early start making our way to the Channel tunnel ready for a long journey to Lake Garda, Italy. On the way there, we went through the Austrian alps and then ate at Innsbruck, before driving on to the services where we stayed over night.

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In the morning we had breakfast with an amazing view then on to Lake Garda. When we arrived Lewis and I immediately checked out the area and the sailing club. We then got rigged and changed to go out training with the other British sailors. It was windy and choppy out on the water, the wind had dropped off by the time we got in, while we were out there we were joined by some Dutch and Thomas Bruckle from Belgium to do some tuning runs and check that we were all on the pace.

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The next day we rested all morning and went out in the wind in the afternoon where we focused mainly on speed and board handling. The venue is amazing, it is usually windy and shifty in the morning which is called Pella and a constant strong wind called Ora in the afternoon but no wind at midday.
The last day of training before our rest day, we started early and we sailed in light conditions in the pella we came in for lunch before going out for some training in the ora.  We had a fun evening as Ali and Lewis took us all out for a Pizza and Ice cream.
On our rest day we measured all of our kit and registered before going out on a boat to watch the practice race, unfortunately there was no wind and the race on our coarse B didn’t happen but I think they did a race on coarse A.

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The race day has arrived and we had a very early start, the wind was strong but a lot less at the windward mark. I was in the blue fleet. Both my starts weren’t as good as I had hoped them to be but I was quick enough to salvage and win both of the races. I was super pleased with this and that was racing finished for the day. Unfortunately quite a few competitors sailed the wrong course which gave the race committee a big task to sort out, luckily they had the whole of Day 2 to finish as there was heavy cloud and then the heavy rain came in which meant no wind and no racing today.

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That evening we went out for a meal to surprise Ali and to say Thank You. Izzy, Zoe, Ethan and myself said a few words and we all signed an event t-shirt for him, it was a fun night but not late as the forecast was looking good for the next day.

Day 3 Another early start and the plan was to do three races in the wind but unfortunately our race officer wasn’t capable to do this and we only did two races in the wind, where I got two 4ths. The wind had dropped a lot when we went out in the afternoon and after a bad start I got my worst race of the event which was an 8th.

The First day of the split between gold and silver fleet and the standard in the gold fleet has doubled. It was not an early start as we were going to race in the afternoon, in the first race I had a good start but overlayed the windward so I lost places and ended up 6th. In the next race I got knocked in to the water on the start line, so I had to work so hard to catch up and went from last to 10th, when I returned to shore I filled out a protest form which the other 2 sailors involved agreed with so I got redress for that race (the average of your other results) which will be decided before the last day.

Day 5 This was going to be the lightest wind day of the week and it was always going to mix up the results, we managed to get 2 races in which were really hard work, the first race went really well for me and I finished fourth but ITA 4 who was in front of me got disqualified for knocking a fellow brit in on the start line. The next race also went well but I was at the wrong end of the line when the start went so I lost out a bit when it came to rounding the windward mark. In that race I finished 6th this meant I was in second place equal points with 3rd and 5th and was 1 point behind so it was all very close.

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Final day! I was very excited in the morning because as I was in second place I got a blue lycra to wear on the water and take home with me. It was a very windy morning and we were moved to a windier coarse A which I was very happy with, on the first race I managed to get my lay lines right and won the race. The next race went ok and I got a 5th which meant all the results were very close. Going into the last race I didn’t know how close the results were so I went into the race just trying to do the best I could. My start was average and my upwind was ok, I think I could have done a bit better in this race but I was happy with a 6th. Overall in the results I came 3rd joint points with 2nd (decided on the highest discard) and only 1 point away from 1st.

The ceremony was at 8pm and I was very excited to be carried on to the podium with my Union Jack flag to receive my bronze medal and trophy.

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I loved the experience and I am looking forward to the step up to 7.8 in the future.

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All of the GBR team sailed really well and we all had great fun, made foreign friends and ate lots of ice cream. I feel really happy with how I have done in the World Championships but very sad that Ali is not going to be our UKJS coach for next year.

I am looking forward to my next regatta in Cadiz.😀

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