Joseph Folley First International Windsurfing Competition at Palma

May 02, 2024

Rising to the Challenge: Jo’s Journey from Palma to Hyeres and Beyond

Competing at Palma this year as my first overseas competition was bound to be a challenge as it is so close to the Olympic Games. With the level so high, there was no room for error. The weather leading into the event was absolute glamour, but during the regatta we were met with some light winds which meant the IQ foil class was only able to race 8 out of the scheduled 20 races for qualification. Fellow RQYS sailor Rory Meehan was able to adapt to the challenge of big fleet racing and end qualification on the cusp of gold fleet. I couldn’t quite piece everything together in the short qualification series, however this sparked my determination to improve in the next regatta at Hyeres.

For Hyeres this year, each class was split into two fleets, one fleet for qualified nations where sailors have already qualified their country for the Olympics. The other fleet was the last chance regatta where the remaining countries would fight it out for the few remaining spots. The Aussies in the IQ foil were competing in the qualified nations fleet due to Sydney sailor Grae Morris’ previous qualification and selection for the Olympics. The lead into Hyeres saw some brutal mistral winds power through, but similar to Palma we saw some lighter winds again for the regatta. With a slightly smaller fleet size and some key lessons learnt from Palma, I was able to see some major improvements in my sailing and some gains around the race track. This trip was an amazing experience where I was able to experience the high level of racing internationally. I was able to bring back so many learnings to put into my training to hopefully start to attack the front of the fleet next year. Thank you RQYS for the continued support, and also to QAS, Australian Sailing Futures and my parents. I can’t wait to battle it out again next year.

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