Last Tuesday and Thursday I sailed at Gosport. On the Tuesday, I expected to win given my state of preparation for the Nationals, but what surprised me was the excellent implementation of my race plan in every single race apart from race 6 when my receiver battery gave up. I forgot to recharge it following the tuning session the previous day.
On the Thursday, stiffer competition arrived in the form of James Hadden and Nigel Brown. Lightish fluky winds were the order of the day despite the forecast of a stiffer breeze. I arrived just in time to throw the boat in the water for the first race ( not ideal preparation but today was hair cut day at home). The starts were crowded and results up and down. On the day I thought I had sailed badly but was surprised when I saw the results, I had the lowest total score and was only 3 points behind James on the net score. Had the wind been kind to me when we had a running finish in race 2, I would have tied with James. Instead a gust brought the fleet rapidly down as my boat lay becalmed yards from the finish and my 20 yard lead end up as a fourth place. However that is sailing so I take away the positives.
What did I learn. Starts are 80% of the race. The major shifts and finding pressure on the first beat is the other 15%.
One more day at Gosport next Tuesday then it is off to Glasgow. The forecast for the Nationals is looking good with an easterly on Friday and Westerly's though the three days of racing. Given the layout of the location, the direction will give good racing along the shore of the loch although the wind will have to come over a line of trees.