Recently I have been to the three laser radial qualifiers that have taken place to select the various winter squads, in particular the National Youth Squad. The first of the qualifiers was in Highcliffe. It was a difficult event with very light winds on the Saturday, which I struggled to perform in and subsequently ended up in Silver fleet for the second day. However, this didn’t turn out to be not too bad as when the wind picked up for Sunday I had much better results with a second and a sixth, although as I was in silver fleet still not ideal. This meant that I finished the event second in silver fleet which wasn’t bad for my second radial event. The fleet was of a very high standard with 2012 hopeful Olympians sailing at the event, who were also doing the qualifier. It was great to sail against people who had succeeded in this sport.
The next qualifier was in Hayling Island where the conditions were much better with lots of wind! The event went really well with a few good races with some great results in challenging conditions. This meant that I was in gold fleet for the second day, an improvement on the last qualifier. Although this meant I only raced the top sailors that day, my results were still ok and after the first two qualifiers I was in a good ranking position for squad selection.
After the previous two qualifiers, and based on the results which I obtained at them, I received a letter that I had been selected for the Welsh Youth Academy which I was very happy with and am very much looking forward too. The Head Coach for the Squad is Chris Gowers who coaches Paul Goodison which is a fantastic opportunity for me.
I went down to Paignton for the final qualifier. The wind was moderately strong on Saturday and very strong on Sunday: it was very hard work! I did ok in the second and third races on Saturday after a poor first one but on Sunday I had another ok race despite the fact that I broken my tiller extension and so struggled to finish the race and was unable to do the last race of the day which was disappointing as it meant I lost a few places overall.
Overall I was happy with how the qualifiers went and after qualifying for the Welsh Academy, I can train over the winter and be ready for the Spring qualifiers in the New Year.
As preparation for the Laser Inlands in two weeks time, last weekend I went to Grafham for the laser transitional training. The weekend was windy but its affects we’re made worse by how gusty it was, which also meant here were big shifts. The weekend was great fun and a bit tiring and I did well in the racing that we did of both afternoons with a 2nd, 3rd, 5th and a 10th out of the 50 boats that were there.