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  • Writer's pictureJake Farren-Price

Autumn Qualifier 2020

In September I moved down to Weymouth so I can sail as much as possible while working as an analyst for an investment company part-time to pay the bills.

So last weekend’s Worlds and Euros qualifier – the only one of the autumn weekends to go ahead – was a home event for me. For once I didn’t need to tow my boat halfway across the country at the crack of dawn or stay in some interesting B&B, which is normally the case.

The first day brought some cold north-easterly winds and I decided it was time to crack out the 5mm wetsuit for the first time this autumn. In the event, I did get a little too hot, but I have learned the hard way that northerlies in Weymouth should not be underestimated.

I had a bit of an average first day, with the wind about 12-15 knots. The top guys played the conditions very well and used their speed to break away from the pack. Downwind pace was my get-out-of-jail-free card and I was really trucking past people on those legs. I wish I could say the same for the upwinds…

Day two came as a bit of a shock and I had the best day in the fleet. In the first race, I managed to get a bullet, holding off the current bronze medalist at the European champs on the final downwind. Second race felt similar, managing to pick people off on the downwind legs and hold it together and link the shifts nicely up the beat. Overall I felt pretty stoked with Sunday’s racing and I feel like I’m rediscovering some buried mojo.

Here's a pic of me about to round the final mark of the race I won, I know it looks like I've chucked the anchor out and the 14 year-olds in the 4.7s are catching me up but that wasn't the case, I promise.

Thanks to Georgie Altham for the pics.

I’m now in Malta for a month for a SailCoach training camp. The warmer weather can’t be sniffed at even if I have to quarantine for two weeks when I get back!

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