This year was my first time racing in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta (in Palma, Mallorca), and I absolutely loved it! It is one of the first big European events of the racing season for Olympic classes, so the turn out is large and very competitive. Almost 300 lasers raced between radials and full-rigs. It was a great opportunity to me to race in big fleets, and I was hoping would be the first time I would qualify for gold fleet at a major international event. While I didn’t make that goal (I finished 89th out of 113 boats) and am pretty disappointed about it, overall the event was challenging and fun. Lots of work to do moving forward!
Palma is known for big winds, and pretty cold waters at this time of year. I found the water just a little bit warmer that what we sail in this time of year in Victoria, so that wasn’t too much of a shock for me compared with some other competitors. We had a few training days of big sea breeze, but actually only 1 out of 5 race days had the famous big on-shore wind. That day was a blast because it also brought in huge ocean waves, which make the downwinds really fun (and a little scary)! Mostly we had either shifty and light offshore, a mid-range thermal, or some sort of gradient wind bending into the bay. Each day had pretty different conditions, which was tricky, but made this a really good regatta to practice one of my main technical focuses right now, which is building really in-depth, venue-specific strategy plans for each race. I have a tendency to be less focused on overall strategy when I am racing, and more on boat-to-boat tactics, so I am trying to take a mental step back and remember the big picture in the middle of a race. It’s hard, because there is so much to think about, but it is important not to get too caught up in what is happening right around me.
Now I am home for a few weeks, back in gym, setting up my new boat (so excited about that!), and hanging out with family. Next on the competition schedule is the Senior European Championship, in La Rochelle, France!