Hello followers and friends! From now on I will post my updates in English, because I keep making new friends from all over the world and they don’t speak any dutch.
This post is about my European Championship in Italy, held at the most beautiful lake I know: lake garda! It’s famous because of the ‘Ora’. A wind that arrives around 12 0’clock and it’s generally known that you have to sail as fast as you can to the right mountain because the wind is much stronger on the right side. That’s why we have been practicing on our bow-down-mode and going real fast to be at first at the mountain. But during the first coach meeting of the week, the race comity said that they are going to put the course in the middle of the lake so there is more variation on the race course because the right side doesn’t really have an influence. So it actually turned out to be typical lake sailing. What means; shifty conditions and having a gust can be king when the rest of the fleet doesn’t have any!
On the first 3 days the wind was stronger and more consistent than during the last days. On the 3rd day we had to start at 8 o’clock, (wake up at 6 a.m!) because at that time the wind would come from the opposite direction than the wind in the afternoon. And that was what the comity was aiming for so we would have even a bigger diversity of racing conditions. So that day I was on the water at 7 o’clock and the wind was really strong, > 22 knots. I had a really good start and I finished that race with a first place! When we were starting the second race the wind had already dropped down a bit and we had only 10 knts. We kept having general recalls and after the thirds start I got a disqualification because I got the Black Flag. So I had to go back to the harbour. The other girls weren’t able to do any racings that day so they had to catch up on that race the next day. I was not allowed to start so I had to wait on shore. (Feels really strange to be the only one left…)
Later that week I thought that the wind was less stable and I had some difficulties reading the wind. I also was afraid of getting another black flag so my starts were very safe (some really bad actually), which resulted in some bad races. And I also already got a bfd, but we only had 2 discards, which meant that I suddenly had a lot of points. Although I had been in a second position during the whole regatta I was on equal points with nr 3 before the last day and nr. 4 and 5 were really close on the ranking too! I was really nervous for the last day. Again we had an early start of 8 o’clock but this time the wind was really weak so we weren’t able to finish the race we started. So the comity decided to do the 2 races in the afternoon with the well known ‘ora-wind’ from the south again.
So we started the 11th race of the event in the afternoon and again I was afraid of getting another bfd. I just didn’t want to screw up so I started safe again. Too safe, because my start was really bad. It was a really tricky day again and my opponents sailed very inconsistent as well. When I came on shore I had no idea whether I won the bronze or not. (I knew silver wasn’t possible anymore). When I found out I finished 3th overall it really felt like ‘winning’ the bronze.
I found out that being one of the favorites again is really something different than ‘ just sail good’ during senior events. ‘Know how to win’ is a difficult skill. Apparently I need to develop that skill, but I learned already a lot about it during this event and hopefully I can show that by winning the Worlds U21 next month in France, Douranenez. I am crazy enough to think I can, but we will see! check results here: