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Chris Taylor - round up for 2011

So the end of another busy year full of local, national and international events in both the 420 and our J80.

I started the year sailing with Peter Alton having teamed up at the end of August 2010 and we qualified for the Europeans Championships having come third in our selector series. This was a great achievement for us as it was what we had aimed for after missing out on Argentina 6months previous.

I then sailed with Sarah Alton as a crew for the youths and came 11th which wasnít bad seeing as we had never sailed together and it was my first time crewing for 2 years. Pete and I then headed off to Kiel, Germany and Flanders, Belgium after the exam period as our pre-Europeans training. These events provided us with practice of big starts against some of the boats we would be racing against out in Portugal, and although we may not have had the best results we gained valuable experience.

So it was now time for the big event of the year, the 420 Europeans in Portugal. We arrived a week early for training but unfortunately had completely different conditions to what we eventually raced in. We had a very tricky qualifying series as the foreigners were much more used to the light and tricky sea conditions that we raced in. Unfortunately we didnít qualify for gold fleet, however as we gained knowledge through the week we were improving all the time to the point where we won the final race of the event, which rather enlightened our coaches mood after a hard week for the whole GB Team. This event helped to vastly improve my tactical knowledge in light wind conditions and how important patches of breeze are as we rarely have these conditions in the UK but they are often what we get when abroad.

Portugal was mine and Peteís last 420 event together due to him being at university and wanting to concentrate on that and also me wanting to go back to crewing due to my size. So that was the point where myself and Matt Foskett teamed up.

Since then we have come 7th at the inlands, only due to one race with a big windshift that put us from 2nd to 15th and so dropped us three places in the overall. We also competed in a very light wind end of season and came 9th which we were pleased with as it was so light and we came away knowing exactly what we needed to work on before our selectors at the end of February for the Worlds in Austria next summer.

Going forward in the 420 we are hoping to comfortably qualify for Austria, and once again compete at Kiel and Flanders followed by our Nationals.

Thank you to Allen for their continued support of our campaign and for supplying all of our boat hardware.

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