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A Year in Review

I have now completed 2.5 years of Racing in and IOM Marblehead and DF95. It seems like a long time and when I think of the number of races.....

My performance has improved according to plan with the best indication being the IOM Nationals. 2021 30 ish, 2022 20 ish, 2023 6th. As I said to Craig Richards, I still have a lot of rough edges to polish and have a desperate need to improve consistency. Those bad races do so much damage to my overall score and kept me out of the top 20 at the Europeans. One huge factor in my favour is every ranking event and nationals, I get to race against some of the worlds best. The game of catch up is well and truly on.

Next years targets are the 3 national championships for the classes I sail and the IOM worlds next October in Gladstone Australia.

Regarding boat design, I have the best Marblehead in the Grunge, the DF is one design and the Britpop is still one of the top IOM designs but I watch the newer designs with interest albeit they are likely evolutionary. It is interesting that the winners of international events are coming from the countries who have the most organised competitive racing. It does not seem to matter which of the top designs you have and I would loved to have see Craig Richards at the Europeans this year in a Britpop. He is definitely the benchmark for us in the UK.

The diary for next year is busy. 1 World if I qualify, 3 nationals, 9 ranking events, a handful of TT's, numerous open and district events and of course lots of club racing. The only way to improve is through hours on the water so I hope for great progress this winter. I need to find a training IOM boat as the Britpop is getting worn and I need to preserve it for ranking and championships. 24 races a week is a lot to ask for a boat even one of the quality of Robot Yachts.

So the hard work begins over the winter. It was cold sailing today and even with gloves on the fingers were getting cold but it makes a nice break from picking up leaves, pointing patios etc.

On the bright side, my knowledge of rig setup is massively improved although I have to maintain the discipline of measuring up accurately before racing, my starting is getting better and my light wind skills are excellent. I need to develop my performance sailing in a breeze and open water sailing especially as it looks like the worlds may be upper end of A rig and possibly B.

Little to report over the next few weeks unless I find a Britpop substitute. All I have to do is set the diary for next year and club race. There is one last open at Eastbourne next weekend which is the delayed Guy Fawkes Trophy. Good practice before next years ranking event.

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Congratulations for your improvements Nigel. It was good meeting you in Spain ! For next year, try to come to France !

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