UKWA British Open Cup at Bridlington, Yorkshire
The venue for Bridlington is always good as you park up on the North Promenade and you look directly out over the sea. This year we have bought a caravan, called an Eriba Troll, so no more sleeping in the van at events! With its pop-up roof and rounded VW camper look it caused quite a lot of comments from passing holiday makers. One very knowledgeable man told his wife “those are amphibious you know…”. Obviously it is not amphibious, but with a forecast of three meter swells for Monday we hoped we wouldn’t need it to be.
Racing on Day One kicked off in 6-7 knots so we were pumping all the way around the course on 7.8m sails. We got two races in, where I got a ninth and a twelfth place which, in light winds, is pretty good for me. But then the wind didn’t play ball and we stopped for the day at around 3 o’clock. I can’t tell you what good news this was as I am much better in stronger winds.
Sunday kicked off with a 9.30 briefing and we were on the water soon after for four races. The wind was blowing and the formula fleet got out early, which was good to see. I started the day with a second place which was really pleasing, as I was only just behind Ali Masters who is the best Techno racer in the UK. The second race started as soon as the first had finished and I pulled away from the fleet and got a first which was even better.
Lunch in the caravan is luxury; a cooking stove that doesn’t go out in the wind as well as somewhere warm to sit and eat my pasta. The racing wasn’t over though and after two more, where I finished fifth and third, I was running fourth over-all behind three of my friends (and arch enemies) Ali Masters, Sam Sills and George Bowles.
Monday was promising a Force 8 offshore wind and 3.4m waves and fortunately that wasn’t what we got. However, we had a decent Force 6 and a tough shore-break, particularly when you are trying to launch a 205 litre Techno board and 6.8 metre sail. We only completed one race where I came in third which was highly pleasing as it put me up a place to third in the Techno One Design Fleet and made me second in the Techno 7.8 metre fleet.
My result at Bridlington has massively improved since the first UKWA event of the year at Marazion because I am much more focused and a week of coaching with Jem Hall has helped me with my light wind sailing coping better on the sea in all conditions. Since I have sorted out my food and drink I have a lot more energy on the water so I can perform to a greater standard. Also my result at Marazion (at Easter) was not helped by the fact that there was a lot of light wind pumping which is not my strong spot, but since then I have been working on improving my light wind sailing, which paid off on the first day of racing at Bridlington.
"My friends (on the racing circuit) are also my arch enemies."
"Since I have sorted out my food and drink I have a lot more energy on the water so I can perform to a greater standard."