We arrived in Poole on Thursday the 26th of May just after 8pm for the J24 British Nationals that weekend. We had taken the ferry to Holyhead and driven almost seven hours through Wales and England. Upon arriving in Poole we dropped the boat off in Parkstone Yacht Club and relaxed for the evening.
Friday morning saw the team up early for weigh in. After skipping breakfast, it turned out we needn’t have bothered as we weighed a combined 395Kg. Five kg under the limit. The rest of the day was spent making sure the boat (Irelands Eye Kilcullen) was primed for the regatta. Naturally this involved multiple coats of polish and tuning the rig after throwing the mast back up. Once Kilcullen was ready to rock. All that was left was to gear ourselves up for Saturday.
On the first day of racing, we found ourselves struggling to place as high as we had hoped in. Our results in the four races (8,7,11,7) left us disappointed, but the team kept a very positive attitude knowing that we had the ability to race at a higher level than we had shown.
Sunday was our best day of the regatta. Our results were (1,1,2,7). We had talked as a group the previous night about our collective and individual need for improvement. We identified our weaknesses and with the help of our coach, Graeme Grant, we came up with solutions that would improve our performance. We won the first race of the day by a few boat lengths, but the second race showed us the level we could sail at when at optimum performance. We ended up winning the race by upwards of two minutes.
Monday saw a dip in our results again, even though we recovered from worse positions in both races to record a (5,6). When the racing finished, We had placed a respectable fifth place overall. Looking forward, we feel we are very capable of doing well in the Europeans next August, but we will need to hone our focus levels to bring the consistency to our racing.
The ICRAs are at in Howth in just under ten days so we are looking forward to defending our title on home “turf”.