Today was the day of the season’s first RYA course. Last year I was on the season’s first RYA course. So, a year ago I started sailing!

Today, though, were the last two races for this winter season. After last week’s races, I was 9th at the Winter Series behind Liam. If I can beat him today, I might get in front of him. There were 9 Lasers rigging, including me, so it looked good. Steve wasn’t there today and I didn’t see Liam either. The wind was supposed to be moderate, but it grew stronger than expected, so things got a bit wet…

We had one more “new” Laser sailor, Laura, who was crewing in MRXs. We want more people in the fleet really. I really I would like to have an average of over 10 boats racing every Sunday. Actually if we hit 15, it will be great!

The start line on the first race was almost on the dam wall! There was hardly any space to manoeuvre below the start line. We started and I was doing quite well. I was having a battle with Adrian, he is a guy who is not very regular. I hadn’t seen him for ages. I was trying to get to Brent (most probably, he thinks that I am hunting him down to kill him) but Adrian managed to pass me and when at some point I capsized he built a gap. I settled for 5th out of 9.

On the second race, the race officer moved the line much further down, so we had enough space below the line. I had pretty good start and I am sure I made loads of people worried. I got the boat flat, powered up and it was moving nicely. At some point I was 3rd maybe 2nd. Towards the end of the leg things seemed more normal. Ben was already ahead of me, Joe and Pete had sailed passed me and Brent was closing up fast. Ken was behind me, and I knew that I would have to fight him. I was faster upwind, he would come closer downwind. I capsized and I thought I had lost. As soon as I came upright I realised I still had a chance. I managed to overtake him and as I was rounding the windward mark, I hit it with my boom. I did a 360 turn that made me loose double the time because I did it quite badly, but I was still ahead. I was going for the finish line looking over my shoulder. I heard a noise behind me and as I turned I saw he had death-rolled. That was it! I sailed nicely but quickly to the line and finished 5th out of 7.

As we were de-rigging we saw Tom upside down and it seemed exhausted. The safety boat had gone in and we had to call it back out. They scrambled very quickly and as they were approaching him, he managed to upright his boat. In the meantime they saw another capsized boat, that we couldn’t see from where we were standing. It was Ken’s boat, but Ken wasn’t there! Anyway, we were really worried for a few minutes, but thankfully we saw Ken walking thought the gate! He had death-rolled and as the sail was up the boat was drifting faster than he could swim. Since the safety boat wasn’t there, he thought it would be easier to swim ashore and walk back in. That is a serious safety issue that I would like to see resolved ASAP.

Other than, everything was fine and I had a really good day. Tomorrow and the day after we have training with two top coaches Jon Emmet (2006 Radial National Champion) and Steve Powell (2006 Standard National Champion). We have 18 people coming for that and everybody is really excited about it. I’ll let you know how it goes.