April 18, 2024

I know I keep on saying this, but every event I have done whilst competing in Europe, has had a more and more impressive fleet. A week after the Europa Cup, I competed in the U21 European Championships, which was also located in Port de Pollença. However, unlike the hours of postponement we had during the Europa Cup due to the slightly-terrifying amount of breeze we had, the U21 Europeans had hours of AP because of a lack of wind. When the breeze did come in, it was a very patchy and shifty 5-10knots.

This event was another great chance to test myself against sailors my age, and whilst it was not my best event, I was super pleased with all of the learnings I took away from the racing. I am looking forward to another chance to compete against this fleet at the U21 World Championships later this year. It was also an awesome experience to share with my friend Lilly May Niezabitowska, getting to support her and watch her claim the title of U21 European Champion!!

The Princesa Sofía regatta was my first ever World Cup, and because it is an Olympic year, the fleet was full of the best of the best.

This event had two days of the qualifying series, three days of finals series and then a medal race on the sixth day for the top ten boats. On the first day of qualifying, we raced in 20-30knots with huge swell, which led to major separation of boats in the fleet, and many capsizes for most boats. The rest of the regatta was very different, with all other races being sailed in a light 7-9knots, except for one day where silver fleet did not get races in because there was not enough wind.

However, the real workout of the entire regatta was launching and retrieving on the first two days of racing. Due to the extreme winds and waves before the event and during the first day of racing, large amounts of seaweed had been pushed to shore. Despite the best efforts of the clean-up crew to push the seaweed into piles (which ended up being taller than me!), we were still forced to carry the boats through knee-deep seaweed in order to reach the water.

Article Written by: Frances Beebe

Images By: photo.thomtouw.com

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