Now the first course of the year is done and the cobwebs are starting to blow away.
The race in brief
After a poor start - a battle to win the committee boat in a starboard bias line with the wind constantly clocking right I found my self-locked out at the committee boat and thus started behind the fleet. I got back in to the fist beat fairly nicely coming in to the top mark just outside the top 6 but proceeded to tack under the fleet approaching the mark on port. This left me under the fleet as the wind freed and I was rolled by 10 boats.
In general the course was a leader extending course, with the leaders gaining favourable tide turns where the boats behind had to fight the tide.
There was an interesting thermal effect with the thermal trying to establish with no luck. This left the race course with large patches of no wind and then with the wind re-entering form its gradient north easterly direction. Some boats did well and profited from this wind arriving by taking a large risk and tacking out heading 80deg from the bouee.
It was a bitterly cold race and I found myself wearing every item of clothing I had, kept warm by my amazing new Isotec Zhik clothing and my Sealskinz Winter Hat & Thick Mid Length socks. (Just missing my hipflask with Kilchoman single malt whisky in to take a wee dram to warm from the inside)
A two sail reach back up north to Concarneau where I managed to get the boat going well gaining a place and a huge amount of distance eon the boats around me.
But with no breakages and understanding what defined the course results and final positions , (what I did well and what I need to work on) I am in a good place now preparing for the Solo Matire CoQ that starts on the 15th April and the first race on the 18th April.
Although I am a little disappointed with my final result (positioning wise) I am also very aware that this is my best ever result at this event having come 23rd in the previous two additions of the race so I am ultimately happy with the result.
Solo Matire CoQ
This is the home of the Vendee globe and the boats will be lined up along the Vendee globe pontoons where in 6 months’ time 27 Imoca 60ft single handers will be departing to sail around the world in the famous Vendee globe, the event I hope to be competing in in the next addition 2020.
A slightly different format to this race with 2 days of costal and inshore racing just off Sables d’Olonne with each race contributing to the final result dependent upon its length.
< 20 miles Coef = 1
> 20 miles Coef = 1.5
Followed by a large offshore of 350 miles that starts on the 21st April with a coef of 3.
It will be an all-round event with around 4 races predicted for the inshore series on the first 2 days.
General/ Port la Foret
I have been training in Port la Foret in single handed mode and will continue to do so before the next race.
Port la Foret really is a special place and with the Vendee globe fast approaching and the Figaro season under way is have very quickly been transformed form a Figaro training mecca to the home of several Vendee globe teams (as they reappear out of the shed from winter modifications and tweaks). Been in this environment, having meetings and speaking with the sailors of these boats/ campaigns really is a huge inspiration and driver to work as hard as possible to be able to get myself in their situation over the coming years.
There really is nothing like this anywhere else, it is like a permanently set up Americas cup base with the difference been at lunch time the teams all eat in the same restaurant in the middle of the port... I find this magic!