Hyeres World Cup – Touch the bottom to jump back up

Hyeres would be the next stage of the World Cup circuit. The run-up to the regatta was anything but perfect. Just before we left for France I had a shoulder-injury which impeded the upward movement of my left shoulder. That eventually faded away but it was something that I had to remain careful with.

The training conditions were perfect with a nice variety of wind conditions. Training was a little limited because we wanted to avoid stressing the shoulder too much. Unfortunately, that was not the end of the problems. Two days before the event I got food-poisoning and was sick all night. The time to recover towards the race was too short and I had to start the event with another set-back.

This was evident straight away in race 1. My routines and sharpness weren’t good enough and I ended up finishing dead-last. The next race was a little better finishing 32nd. It had been a long time since I felt so terrible out on the water. It was however only day 1 and there was plenty of racing left.

Day 2 would only give us one race because we were racing in the afternoon and the wind died before a second race could be sailed. Again a mediocre race finishing 33rd. I was still struggling to get away off the line and at this level it’s very hard to recover, especially with one-sided beats. It was clear I wasn’t sailing like my old self because my down-winds which are usually my strong point were not up to standard.

On day 3 we had an early start with three races planned. In race 4 and 5 I started to feel the boat better again and I was making some good calls. I was able to pull through the fleet to some decent positions again finishing 21 and 34. The last race we had a couple of restarts after general recalls and on the second start I unfortunately got picked out, resulting in resulting in a BFD and a very long and cold upwind sail back to the harbour.

That evening I started feeling worse again as my stomach was playing up. I slept badly throughout the week and that took its toll in the last two days with 4 more disappointing races which left me 52nd overall. This was not the result I had come to Hyeres for. On the flight home I had a long time to think about what went wrong and how to come back stronger. I’ve given this event a place and I want to learn from the mistakes. Our 49er coach said something that stuck with me just before I left the airport: “Sometimes you’ve got to touch the bottom, just so you can jump up again”. That’s the lesson for this week. Next stop is Medemblik in Holland.

Stay tuned!