Princess Sofia Regatta and Genoa World Cup
Another two-regatta trip, another blog update; this time in Europe!
The first major European regatta of the season is almost always the Princesa Sofia Regatta, in Majorca Spain. This year was my second time racing there, and it was as awesome as ever. It is a super well attended event in all the Olympic classes, and has to be spread out between three sailing venues so they can accommodate all the boats. We had 118 radials in our fleet, which is pretty much the maximum at any senior event, as there are typically quotas of 120 spots. Because there are so many boats, the boats are divided into two fleets and the regatta is split into two “rounds”. The first two days are the qualification round, and we are divided into two groups based on ranking which changes each day. The last three days is gold/silver fleet round where the top half after the qualification round gets to race in gold fleet for the remainder of the event. This event was the first time I managed to qualify for gold fleet! I had two top-ten finishes in the qualification round, and went into gold fleet racing in 36th overall! That is a huge achievement for me, because in all previous senior-level events where we had this division I have ended up in silver fleet. Gold fleet racing turned out to be pretty hard, so I ended up finishing the regatta in 57th, towards the back of the fleet. I am still proud of that result and added some new things to work on to my ever-growing and evolving to-do list!
After Palma I had about two weeks before my next competition, which was the World Cup in Genoa, Italy. That’s not enough time to fly all the way home and back, so I decided to stay in Europe and have a few days of sight-seeing. An American sailor, Hanne Weaver, and I went to Cinque Terre, which is a short train-ride east from Genoa. It is a national park in Italy and a World Heritage site consisting of five seaside villages that are accessible only by foot-path or train. You can easily see a few of the villages in a day trip, as we did, although I think a longer hiking trip between them all would be really lovely.
Unfortunately the racing in Italy was not as great as the holidaying. We had some amazing conditions during the training leading up to the World Cup, but for the whole week of racing we barely had any wind. I really felt bad for the race committees and regatta organizers as they struggled to get all of our races completed. I also did not have good regatta. I was nervous about being over early on the start line, and consistently started too cautiously so that I was behind right away, and in very light wind it is hard to recover from poor starts. I also put a lot of pressure on myself to repeat my gold fleet qualification from Palma, and to try and make the medal race because I had been so close in Miami, and I think that pressure of focusing on results distracted me from concentrating process goals and executing clean races. It’s very disappointing to not meet my expectations, but I think this event really highlighted the advice that it is process goals, not result goals, that will ultimately lead to top performances.