Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Training

I started out this season with two training camps, followed up by the second World Cup regatta of the year, the Princess Sofia Trophy.  This season has been difficult so far, as I have been sick a few times and am still searching for a good coaching situation.  My logistics have also been a little crazy with the winter weather delaying and canceling flights to Europe.  However I've made the best of it, and am still improving.
My first training session was in Marsala, Sicily, with one of the top Italian girls.  It was a great opportunity to work on planing technique, because we had some days with 25 knots and big waves.  We also took a sailing adventure - a windy four hour voyage to one of the islands off the Sicilian coast, Favignana.  We spent two nights there and managed to visit some of the island's beautiful places.


I then flew to Cadiz, Spain, where I spent two weeks training with the Polish National Team.  This session was an opportunity to get competitive and intense racing practice, and extensive physical training. I really enjoy training with the Polish team, as they are professional and focused, and give 100% in each session. 

After Cadiz, my next stop was in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for the second World Cup regatta of 2014, the Princess Sofia Trophy.  A big, competitive fleet was at hand, including deep youth fleets of British, French, and Chinese sailors, and most of the experienced top women's competitors from Europe, Asia, and South America.  Each year, the fleet grows a bit, and the level is at its highest ever.  We had one fleet of over 50 women.

Palma is the trickiest venue of the circuit, and this regatta was no exception.  The newer format for World Cup events means three races a day regardless of conditions, and the ever-changing wind here meant we spent very long days on the water.  We experienced a wide variety of conditions from 5 knots to 25, and I felt comfortable in them, formed good strategies for each race, and knew what the wind was doing at any given moment.  However, I had a tough time executing some critical moments in each race, and consequently didn't have great results.  In a deep and large fleet, one or two mistakes in the beginning of a race are generally unforgivable.  I also came in overtrained, and the very long days contributed to getting sick again after the event.

Our next event, the Hyeres World Cup in the south of France, will again be very competitive.  I'm glad I had Palma to let me know what to expect for this next event in terms of fleet quality!  I'm looking forward to a few more days of rest and then preparation for Hyeres.