These days it's unusual to have four days of racing in a row. It's even more unusual to complete a fourteen race series...
More often that not, one day is spent drifting around the harbour waiting for wind. Or alternatively, the race committee getting one race away instead of the proposed three or four. Unfortunately its the nature of the game (wind).
Nevertheless this Easter, on Lake Braasemermeer at the Magic Marine Regatta, wind wasn't an issue. The four day competition attracted 225 competitors from across 13 countries. Big teams taking part from Netherlands, Great Britain, America, Belgium, not to mention Zealous' solid team of 15, challenged each other at the front of the race track, with two days of qualifying followed by two days of finals racing.
The nature of any four day event (without acknowledging the three training days prior) is that it requires endurance. With 14 races split across a 3,4,4,3 formation the sailors put their bodies on the line, hiking the boat flat, keeping the boat dry and trimming the sail accurately race after race.
The last day was similar to the first three. Whilst a different direction that strength was more or less the same - 12-18 knots, gusty and shifty. Quite simply it made for tough racing. With no favoured side or particular partner it was a matter of looking to the sky and use the clouds as our Predict Wind indicator. Small fronts hit left and right throughout the day, challenging sailors both mentally and physically.'
Unfortunately after race twelve, W. Wahlroos injured his wrist and went ashore, putting him out of top 10 contention. However, his team mates stepped up the challenge, E. Plavins and A. Koivistoninen posting outstanding scores as they climbed the leader board, Plainvs 6th and Koivistoninen 13th going into the last race. A. Niemi rose to 8th and A.Nurminen 3rd in the Silver and Bronze fleets respectively before the last start.
The overall results (below) reflect some outstanding improvements from individual sailors. It also reflects some excellent individual races that saw sailors winning starts and jostling at the front of the fleet. A particular noteworthy performance by our large contingent of Latvian sailors this week - their development over the last 12 months has been outstanding. It undoubtedly can be attributed to their passion and hunger to learn!
In summary, it has been an excellent week for the Zealous sailing team and their coaches. Getting out on the water with the sailors 7 days in a row offers the perfect opportunity to develop talent and up-skill athletes. Weather conditions are an important variable, providing a variety of challenges depending on the outcome. This week the weather provided that challenging mix of wind and shifts that enabled sailors to develop, improve, and of course have a bit of fun!