Sail Melbourne 2020
Another windy week in Melbourne, surprise surprise. The hiking legs felt much better this week, pretty much back to normal. While I felt much more comfortable in the boat and back in the groove of big fleet competition, five days of windy weather definitely took its toll.
For the 70-strong Laser Standard fleet, the first racing day was blowing 25 knots, right on the borderline of what the PRO would allow. We managed to complete one race before the race committee sent us home as the wind continued to build. I stupidly capsized in a tack right after off the start line which meant I was playing catch up for the rest of the race. I realize I need to be ironing out silly mistakes like that before the Worlds!
The second day was a three-race day as we didn’t get the scheduled number in on day one. I found myself struggling a little bit to get off the line and hold a good lane. The caliber of the fleet had definitely risen since the Nationals and I couldn’t easily get a decent start wherever I wanted - I had to really work for it and find space on the line. The rest of the week was very similar conditions, shifty and very windy.
So my major learning point from this week was that I need to be more aggressive on the line and have a bit more punch for the first few minutes after the flag drops. If I can get that right, the first beat will become a lot easier and I have a chance of sailing in clear wind. On the upside, I have found my downwind pace to be competitive – holding my own and even able to overtake some of the top guys. Two weeks now to train and work on the weaker areas before the Worlds kick-off.