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  • Writer's pictureJake Farren-Price

Escaping Lockdown - Part 1 of a 2 part series

As the title suggests, I have fled the UK in search of warmer waters and more agreeable restaurant opening hours. I arrived in Malta in late October for a solid month’s block of training and so far, it has been great. I’ve managed to get out on the water 5 or 6 days a week and do my paid work around that, which has suited me so well.

While I've been out here I've been trying to pile the weight back on and get back up to the desired 84kg. This involves getting in the gym a lot and eating a lot. There's a lot of confusing stuff on the internet but the way I see it is that if you want to put on weight, you have to have a net positive for calories. That said I think there's some balance to be had - in the first three weeks out here I had put on 3 kilos and for someone my weight and height you can't really expect to put on more than half a kilo of muscle per week. So after crunching the numbers that suggests to me that I've got some excess momentum that I need to take care of...

The training on the water has been great fun and intense with a good group of lads from all over - Canada, India and Egypt. We have had a great mix of conditions and I am starting to get my hiking legs back in the big waves. We even had the chance to take part in the Maltese Nationals which kept our minds fresh on the racing. Here's a couple shots showing the tight racing between us.

Although this event didn't count for anything (other than a 10 Euro bet placed between us and bragging rights) it was a really tough fight over the three days. On day one we had a light fickle breeze shifting nicely and the racing was super close and I managed to secure a 2, 1 leading ahead of the others, Vishnu and James. Light winds have always been more my jam, but we had 15 knots forecast for the final two days. On day 2 we managed to get in three races and Vishnu found some form taking all the wins that day with James and I chopping and changing for second place. Day 3 and I went into it one point behind Vishnu and James two points behind me.

As it happened we all got a 1,2,3 so finished up the day exactly where we started. I let myself down by sailing the wrong course when leading which cost me a bullet on the last day and 10 euros. It was such an error that I nearly got overtaken by some of the local Maltese that were sailing with us. Here's a photo the race committee managed to snap of me just after that race. The most forced smile you will ever see...

Whilst training and racing have taken up a fair bit of time, I have been able to do some light sight-seeing. Valletta, a stunning capital city with some pretty serious history. It feels important to do these things when I'm visiting places all over the world - at least I can pretend to be a more rounded individual!

The Rolex Middle Sea race finished up at the yacht club and for the big boat fans reading this, you might be aware of a boat called Shockwave? Anyway, I got to have a gander on this incredible trimaran and sit in the helm’s chair. Maybe some point down the line in my racing career I will be racing with these guys.

Stay tuned for part 2, some quite steep learning in a boat that is brand new to me.

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