It’s been a few days since I got back from Poland and I can tell you it was a great event, yes it had it’s down moments but all in all it I’m pleased with my final result.
The few days I had before training started I spent visiting the local area, I went to the pier and the local market area with other members of the GB team. My parents and I also went round on an electric bus tour around Sopot, this was a great insight into parts of the town.
Training began on the Friday lunchtime, in the morning I had visited the Sopot museum, with my Father, which tells you about the history of Sopot, from its beginnings as a Fishing Village to when it was a Spa and then how it developed to what it is now. Well worth a visit.
Training concentrated mainly on getting used to the venue, Sopot had a very strange chop compared to most places you will get in the UK. It was usually very big considering the wind, but that wasn’t going to be the weiredest part if Sopot weather.
Before I begin it should be noted that as there were so many people there, it would be stupid to have them all on one start, instead they randomly put you into groups for the first day and then after each day do a 1,2,1,2 selection on the results for that day for group selection the following day. After 2 days, they then plan to split the fleet results wise, the top half going into Gold Fleet and the bottom going into the Silver Fleet.
For the training and the practise race on Monday, the wind was realtively light, perfect for me! So it was Tuesday and we went out for the first race of the Techno Windsurfing World Championships 2013. Race 1 was going well, I was in the top 10 going round the windward, I’d noticed during the race that clouds and wind were heading towards us, but it hit us incredibly fast! The wind picked up to around 15kts. It threw me a bit but I survived, but I annoyingly dropped my sail on the downwind which lost me a few places. Surprisingly on the next race I did quite well, despite the winds. So on the first day I came out with a 12th and two 10ths. Not Bad. Wasn’t going to last though.
The next day did not go to plan. My first race was awful, only getting a 26th (So as the race kind of counts double, it was worth 52nd (/93)). The next two races weren’t much better but I managed to get two top 20’s. On the second race, my fleet was on the start line, with around 2 minutes to go when we saw this MASSIVE squall heading down the course. At the one minute we watched as the whole fleet who had set off before us got flattened (yes all of them). The Race Officer raised flag ‘R’ which meant coaches had to help with the rescues and then the R.O decided to abandon the race and postpone our start. So we waited in the cold lashing rain. It was warm when I left the shore. All this hanging around, with the fact that we were out second and we had another race to do meant our fleet weren’t of the water until 7pm!
Thankfully, despite the bad second day I made Gold fleet by quite a way, though I had dropped position wise quite a bit. The 3rd day was again a mixed day with a good first race (18th) and then a not so good second race (38th), the second race felt like I had a sign on me saying ‘Please get in my way and screw up my race for me!’.
The second day of Gold fleet was similar to the first, I had a goodish race (20th) and then another bad one (34th). On the 34th I lost many places thanks to people breaking rules, however I protested them so they were disqualified from that race. I feet kind of bad about that but they did screw my race up quite a bit.
Thankfully the last day went well, with two good races in marginal (near planing) conditions, I got a 15th and a 20th securing my place at 25th overall. Happy with that.
A shoutout should go to Emma Wilson who got a bronze medal in the u17 girls fleet. Well done to her!