Finbar Andersen 29er sailor Finbar Andersen 29er sailor
People often get worried about the couple of weeks just after Christmas, as they tend to put on a little weight and lose a little fitness. I'm not going to say that we were still wheezing from the effects of too many brussels sprouts, but certainly the long winter lay-off after Christmas hasn't done us too many favours. We found ourselves on Saturday of this weekend the victims of only a few training sessions over the winter - and as such our boat handling and speed has suffered: getting a degree and trying to establish ourselves at the top of the 29er fleet don't always go hand in hand.

It was a combination of the little things that kept us from doing well this weekend; we got hold of a new boat over the new year, which was beautifully fitted out by Allen bros., but there were a certain number of niggles that we still haven't ironed out, such as the kite sheets being too long, causing a couple of wineglasses on the gybes, and other problems with ourselves: a couple of gym sessions are probably in order, considering how much easier to handle the big winds felt after last summer's intensive events schedule (I was also trying to handle one of the biggest colds I have ever had; we are very lucky I didn't collapse somewhere up the first beat). This unfortunately led to a succession of results around the 16-18 area in a fleet of 30, which is not as good as we usually expect. We were cheered up on the Sunday when we got a nice 2nd, which cheered us up a bit, and was one of the few races where we called the shifts right and had the decent downwind speed we know we are capable of.

So hopefully a bit more training so we can pull off those manoeuvres a bit better before the summer, dodgy mark roundings, gybe hoists etc. cost us places in nearly every single race. And we are very grateful that the Europeans and Nationals aren't inland; this, our second inland event, hasn't given us much to reason that we are brilliant pond sailors!
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