Trofeo Princesa Sofia – Learn from your mistakes

It was time for the start of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. Palma really is one of my favourite places to sail with a nice variety of conditions, good weather and nice cycling trails. Unfortunately, in the run-up to the event I got quite ill when I was at home and was forced to stay in bed for a couple of days. I only really felt normal again the day before racing started. However I was going to give it my all and just see what would come of the race at the end.

The first day was a nice offshore breeze of 15-20 knots. The boat-speed was good and even though I had some shaky starts I managed a 5-7 to have one of my better opening days to an event. The next few days the wind dropped and turned into an afternoon sea-breeze. I initially struggled to make the transition from the quick-shifting offshore to the one-sided boat-speed races. I was making it too difficult for myself trying to find the solution up the middle of the course which made me have to work through the fleet after the first upwind legs. I finished the qualifying series with a 21 and 13. Everything to play for or so I thought.

Day 1 of gold fleet racing was one of my worst days in a Laser for a long time. Bad starts and bad decision making left me very disappointed at the end of the day. I just hadn’t figured out what the wind was doing well enough and even though the boat speed was good, it didn’t show. It’s what makes the Laser class so fun and at times frustrating. The fleet is so competitive that a few mistakes can cost you dearly. I finished a dismal 39 and 53 putting me way down in the overall results.

On day 4 I had just one goal in mind: Get a good start and the rest would sort itself out. It worked. After a good first race finishing 8th, the confidence started growing again. After a shocking start in race 2 I worked hard to finish 25th. It was a great personal victory for me to punch back after such a horrible result the day before.

The final day was more of the same sea breeze. I was going pretty good around 20th place in race 1. Going into the 2nd upwind the wind started shifting and I got completely out of phase and caught on the wrong side of a 35 degree shift. I struggled to crawl back and made a mistake at the final mark which left me doing turns and seeing the rest of the fleet drift past. I was headed for a similar result in race 2 however this time I had my eyes open and pulled back to 18th.

This end result was not what I came to Palma for. I finished 29th, exactly the same place as last year. I want to progress at every race even if it’s one place at a time so I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I’ll have 2 weeks at home now to analyse the mistakes and come out stronger for the next race. See you at the World cup in Hyeres.

Stay tuned