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World Sailing Championships Diary

posted 7 Mar 2014, 06:05 by Google Google   [ updated 7 Mar 2014, 06:05 ]

Felixstowe Academy is delighted to support Year 9 student Alex Page in his development as part of the Cadet Class sailing team representing Great Britain.

At the start of the summer, Alex competed in the Cadet Class World Championships in his boat ‘Gnat’ at Nieuwpoort, Belgium. After spending a week acclimatising to the local areas, Alex kept a day by day report on his experiences, with his co-sailor Aaron from Hertfordshire . . .

First Day of the World Championships

Race 1, and 11th place!

In race 2, we started last, and trailed the fleet most of the way round and then in a burst of speed, overtook 30+ boats in the final phases for a respectable 34th. The last race of the day had lessons to teach us about tides and about the advice from coaches which was completely wrong. Tomorrow is another day.

Bring on tomorrow.

Second Day

On Day One we got three safe results and no Big Big Scores. The same is needed for Race Day Two. The race conditions are full-on big winds, big waves (2 metres high) and a big swell straight up from the Channel. Race 1 today saw us with a clean start in good position. 9th place, having taken 7 places in the last two legs. In race 5 we got a provisional 28th (ahead of over half the fleet). First discard today, where everyone’s worst results are eliminated.

Third Day

Overnight we lay 23rd after a great day with a 9th and a 25th. Even if all goes belly up from here, that is brilliant! In today’s races we managed 18th and 25th in races 6 and 7 of the series. This confirmed and consolidated our present position of 23rd. We considered trying a more high-risk start strategy as an experiment. After all, we will only get the present company to compete against for the next 5 races and then everyone goes home. At first I voted for a higher risk strategy, but after thinking about it, I want to achieve my best possible position at age 12 and don't want to risk spoiling it.

Fourth Day

Wednesday is a lay day - a day off from racing and a chance to think about the last three days and recover physically. We need to hit the water again in 24 hours. We are acknowledged as the fastest downwind. If we could learn to start well, we would be unbeatable! Once you get behind you have boats in front of you blocking you. The leader generally establishes an unbeatable lead. What we need is a sharper start and we think we will now have the means. Thursday will tell.

Fifth Day

Our boat Gnat was completely checked over and re-polished yesterday. On a very hot day we had a complete rag-bag of unpredictable results in which we got a 30/40-something and a 26th which dropped us down overall in the results. I challenged the leading Ukranian boat for port/starboard. At the hearing the Ukranian sailor admitted his guilt and retired to save being disqualified.

Tomorrow the second discard kicks in. Who knows what we will come up against.

Sixth Day

For us, I think 20th is now unrealistic and late 20's is more likely. Launching was postponed by 2 hours and then a further 2 hours. Today, in the single race run, we got an 11th. We are still very focussed; this is a real eye-opener for what we now know World Championship sailing is about. Ideal preparation for the 2013-14 campaign. Waldringfield next week is going to feel very different.

Two races tomorrow. No race can start after 14:00. Which will be tight.

Final Day

The event finished with the final two blistering races. These were raced in a huge swell which made boats look as if they were coming over the hill and waves that would come up to the bedroom window at home. The official record will show that we came 23rd in the World Championship, which makes us second U-15 behind an Aussie hot-shot who is a year older than me and first in the world U-14. That is to say we are the top of the world at our own age (ie World Champions @ U-14).

I would like to thank Felixstowe Academy for all the support they have given me.