Aussie Nationals 2020
My first event of the triple season down under was the Australian Laser National Championships held at Sandringham Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay. A very strong fleet for a national championships in the Standard rig, as lots of international competitors had the same great idea that I did - to do the two warm-up events in the same club in the lead up to the Worlds in February.
We had a good forecast for the week looking like every day would be sailable, despite the persistent smoke haze from the huge bushfires that had engulfed parts of the state. The first day was a nice sub-10 knots (light winds) breeze which is my strength at the moment. A couple of big fleet mistakes lost me a few places, coming in at the windward mark not from a side cost me a bit. Other than this, it was a pretty consistent day leaving me with a couple 17s.
Day two brought huge winds, slightly more than forecast with 28 knots the average and by 2pm the race committee had abandoned sailing for the day. Three races on the following day in similar windy conditions and it became clear I wasn’t up to my usual hiking standard. A couple of weeks off over Christmas and the legs felt useless – shaking like a wet dog on all the upwinds.
Over the rest of the week we had a medium to strong breeze with big oscillations and steep chop when it was coming off the land - and then slightly bigger, longer waves and more gradual shifts when the wind was coming from the bay.
On the whole, the legs definitely felt it this week after two weeks off hiking, but towards the end of the week I was getting back to my normal level. I also felt I was getting back into big fleet racing and ironing out some tactical mistakes there. I now have some time to train and get some R&R in before the next competition starting on the 17 Jan. I am looking forward to the beginning of that and definitely feel I have a lot more to give out here in Aus!