Youth Nationals Write-Up
So as spring started (theoretically) it was time for the 2012 Volvo Youth Nationals in Pwllheli, Wales. As one of the main events of the year we had a good turnout in the 420 class with 40 odd boats racing together.
After a weekend and practice and boat prep we turned up on the first day feeling confident that we had done all that we could preparation wise for this regatta. The first day kicked off the event with 2 races in very light winds, not great for us being the heaviest boat in the fleet but despite this we posted a 7,10 and were happy with how we sailed for the day. This gave us confidence going into the next couple of days when the wind was due to build.
The second day started with the wind in the low teens and due to rise throughout the day. We didn't get off to a great start in the first race as the lighter crews were able to cope with the fluctuating wind and choppy seas better than us and we got a 12th. The second race however was a different story. After the wind started to build we got a good start and rounded the windward 8th and managed to take a couple of places on the reach. Over the next 4 legs we were consistently the quickest boat on the course and pulled ourselves up to 2nd by the finish. A great race for us and we were looking forward to the third. However, as we got back to the start line we were told that there would be no more racing today due to the building breeze much to our disappointment.
The following day was a blow out and the day had been called off before most people had even got to the boat park. This allowed us a day to get some rest and check over the boat after the day before.
Day 4 was a very tough day for us with the wind in the low teens and a horrible sea left over from the previous day. We struggled throughout the day and were disappointed with the results we got of 13, 18 and a 20th. Despite this we were still in high spirits as we had one more day to go and although we knew it would be light we knew we would have flat water. And more importantly the last day coincided with my 18th birthday!
On the last day we sailed to races in light, shifty conditions where we didn't have a great race and posted a 13th. In the last race we decided to just keep away from everyone on the start and make sure we could take every shift up the first beat as the wind dropped and it became even shiftier. We rounded the top mark second after a near perfect beat and kept this position all the way to the finish, although the boat in front of us did change to being the overall winners by the finish.
This was a great finish to our regatta and we were happy with how we had sailed during the week for most of it. A big thank you to Allen for providing all of the hardware for the boat allowing us to push hard and get that crucial second in the windy conditions!
It's now into the drag of exams for the next month or so until Flanders regatta followed by numerous summer events.