Phase one

After another week on in the journey, I have lots to fix as well as lots to learn. A windy week in Canberra resulted in a few breakages here and there and lots of lessons, mainly to re-learn.

There are two parts to phase one of my sailing program for the next five years. Getting to know the 470, and continuing to work on my skippering. As I am too small for a Laser Radial – the Spiral is great for when I can’t find a crew and I want to get out there. Training on Tuesday was a wet session, not just because it was 20 knots on the Lake. I joined in with the Canberra Yacht Club Advanced Youth training session (most of whom are on 4.7’s so a similar speed), and their “M” course. Coach, Craig Davidson loves setting this drill in a breeze; lot’s of gybes at tight angles, forcing you to push yourself. Really highlights the weaknesses in your boat handling. I am hopeful that I will be able to join in on more of these sessions to keep working on the basics.

The 470 only went out once this week on Wednesday for the second Twilight of the season. Even though I am at the start of the learning curve, I am getting to know my way around. Transitions and gear changes are my focus at the moment. Working out what works and what doesn’t; I am spending a lot of time off the water researching on this topic. Sunday morning was spent on boat work and testing my research. There are so many tuning guides and videos online – I love technology! Speaking of technology, my GoPro HD Hero2 is on the way! Hopefully my gallery and YouTube channel will be up and running soon – with some oldies as well as current stills and video.

I had a reality check again this weekend (I expect many) on the gap between where I am, and the goal I want to reach. Sunday’s sprint races on the Spiral in Canberra (I race in a division with Spirals, Lasers and Finns) resulted in me sheepishly doing some turns just after the start in the first race, and sailing back in early with a busted traveller in the second. The big winds were unexpected and resulted in many boats coming home with damage (or even partially sunk). The reality check was on the basics, and solidfied how important the work I am doing on the Spiral is for my skippering skills.

Following my reality check, quote of the week has to be there are no extraordinary people in this world, just extraordinary challenges that ordinary people rise to meet. One that has been used over and over in my sailing career, and my Dad’s.

While I had to take a step back today, Sunday’s sailing has resulted in quite a bit of soul searching and planning tonight, which will continue over the coming weeks. To start with, splitting my ultimate goal into segments or phases is making the ultimate goal so much more apporachable. Instead of one giant challenge, I have five challenges, or phases for a number of areas to meet over the next five years in progressional steps. Bite sized chunks, prevents the feeling of being overwhelmed (thanks Mum and Dad for the advice). This is the third time I will have had a crack at the Games, but the first as a skipper, so it is really important to work on taking one phase at a time. So on phase one, I should have the Spiral fixed and ready for a session tomorrow afternoon.

Good luck to all of those at Sail Melbourne this week, I will hopefully be there next year for a nice quiet start to my World Cup sailing in the 470! Here’s to ordinary people meeting the challenges before them, no matter how big or how small!

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