Gemma Mcdonnell

Sport:
Sailing
Level:
GO GOLD Athlete
NGB:
Royal Yachting Association
District:
Harborough
School:
Beauchamp College (Deleted)
Achievements from Application:

3rd lady at the National Inland Championships

This athlete also receives free leisure facility access from: Harborough District Leisure Trust

Blog

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Easter

26th Apr, 2021

Over Easter break at home, I spent lots of time on the water, club racing and some training. Along with sailing my laser I completed my Dingy instructor course but we were only able to complete the single handed side of the course to allow for social distancing, but I have got the single hander dingy instructor qualification.

When I was at home I increased my cycling distance and decreased my running mileage, to give my legs a bit of the rest, but now I am back in Durham I am running more and cycling less.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Back on the water again

31st Mar, 2021

Since Monday I have been able to get back on the water at my home club.
Next week I am also starting my dingy instructor course.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

isolation in uni

11th Feb, 2021

After one of my flat mates tested positive for corona we had to stay inside for 10 days, it was tough missing my daily run, but I did the bleep test up and down the corridor and did workouts with my flat mates. On the first day I got out of isolation I run a half marathon, and have ran everyday since then. It is disappointing not being able to sail at the moment in the windy weather. I have lots of uni work and deadlines at the moment so have been very busy.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Back into lockdown

13th Jan, 2021

Over the Christmas holidays I got out on the water training in my laser again after my first term in Durham, I also got back cycling, and continued to run everyday. I am back in Durham for the 3rd national lockdown, and am running everyday.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Training

14th Dec, 2020

After having a great first term at university in Durham I have managed to get some time training on the water back at my home club. This weekend it was very windy and good to stretch my legs out again with some long beats as the wind was coming straight down the lake.
Since getting back home, in addition to running, which I maintained throughout the term, I have been getting back out on my bike and cycling again.
Thanks so much to go gold for the support through the uncertain times.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Back Into Lockdown

18th Nov, 2020

Before hit with the second lockdown I sailed for 3 weekends in uni trials for the sailing teams. It is a different type of racing, team racing, the races are much shorter and you want to get your teams boats into a winning combination, rather than just wanting my boat to win. This means there is lots to learn which is very exciting. I am getting use to university life, and am still managing to run everyday. Over Christmas, I am hoping that my club back home will be open so I can get some time on the water.

Thankyou so much to Go gold for their continued support through these uncertain times.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Moving to Uni

13th Oct, 2020

I moved up to Durham University a few weeks ago to study Bsc Geography. This has meant that I haven't been able to get out on the water for a while, but they are planning to hold trials in the next two weekends, but this may all change due to the restrictions.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Nationals

1st Sep, 2020

The laser nationals was held in WPSNA and it was very windy with a competitive fleet including Olympians and members of the British sailing team. The first two days were qualifiers to split into the gold and silver fleets, I missed out on gold by four places which was disappointing, although I was happy with my position. Then on the final day in the silver fleet my boat broke so I had to retire and go in and fix it, I dropped a lot overall because of this.

So, although I am not happy with my overall result I am pleased with how I performed, especially in the very windy conditions.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Training

3rd Aug, 2020

I am sailing most days and racing on the weekend at my home club in my laser radial, in a different racing style, this Sunday I came 2nd in the first race and 1st in the second race. This weekend I raced in the 470 on Saturday, we came 2nd in the first race.

I also volunteered at junior dingy week for three days, this was completed in a different way to other years.

In a few weeks the laser nationals is going ahead at WPNSA, and is going to be a very competitive event as no other events or internationals are going ahead so I will be competing against Olympians.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Starting to race again

2nd Jul, 2020

Over the past two weeks my home club has started doing more self managed racing. Last weekend it was very windy, we did 4 races and I won all of them. I also try to go sailing in the afternoon every weekday, after cycling in the morning and running in the evening.
They have also found a new venue for the nationals, and are planning to hold them at WPNSA in the late summer.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Training

13th Jun, 2020

I have spent the past two weeks training down at my home club, whilst still running and cycling everyday. Training has been mostly speed based, and little boat on boat work as, usually, I only have my sister in a smaller rig to train with. But as lockdown measures continue to relax, more people that I can train with have been getting back on the water.
Although the nationals have not been cancelled this summer, they need a new venue as the original club will not host.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Getting Back on the Water

31st May, 2020

After most other sailing clubs in England have opened, my home club is opening on Tuesday. So, after a few months of not getting on the water I have been doing some boat work so I am ready for Tuesday. Until then, I am continuing to cycle and run every day.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Training in Lockdown

7th May, 2020

Throughout lockdown I have been unable to go sailing but I have still been training. Everyday I cycle about 20 miles on the turbo trainer, a workout were I usually focus on core and arms, then a run outside in the evening.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Isolation

7th Apr, 2020

The past few weeks have changed a lot of my plans. Firstly my A levels have been cancelled, so we now get calculated grades. I have got a conditional offer from Durham along with a scholarship there so hopefully I will get the grades to go there.
Unfortunately the Europeans in Ireland has been cancelled. I was also meant to be in Pwllheli this week for the Youth Nationals.
But in isolation I have been carrying on working on my fitness, running, cycling and a workout everyday.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Qualifiers

18th Mar, 2020

The past two weekends I have spent racing down in Weymouth. But following the corona virus the last qualifier has been cancelled along with the youth nationals that was due to be held in Easter.
I was pleased with the racing in Weymouth and although my overall place wasn't where I wanted I was happy compared to people I have close racing with.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Training in prep for Qualifiers for Euros and Worlds

25th Feb, 2020

Over the past few weekends I have been training on the water, at Grafham, with other people based in the Midlands and East of the UK. I have been focusing on speed before the competitions start after most of the winter has spent focusing on starting. I have also upped my land based fitness, to ensure I am on best form for the competitions. In a few weeks I have a few events in a row down in Weymouth, where I will be aiming to qualify for the Europeans. On top of sailing, I have my A levels this year, and I have received conditional offers from universities and as long as I get the grades I plan to go to Durham university to study Bsc Geography, whilst continuing to sail.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Windy training with dolphins

11th Jan, 2020

After training at my home club over Christmas, I had a weekend training in Weymouth it was windy and we went out in the bay. We focused on speed upwind and downwind, and on the first day down we made it close to the cliffs and saw two dolphins. The unwinds where painful and my back and legs are still recovering. A new wetsuit I bought with the funding money helped to keep me warm along with my microfleeece that a friend gave to me.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

National inland champs

17th Dec, 2019

After the original results where published I had come forth at the National inland champs but recently updated results have changed my position, I came third lady.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Cold winter training

21st Nov, 2019

Moving into the training season has lead to cold long days training on the water. The past few training camps have focused on starting, an area I needed to work on after the summer.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

National ranker

31st Oct, 2019

Two weeks ago I competed in a national ranker in Weymouth and Portland national sailing academy. This was a windy event, but after the 2 day event I was pleased with my position compared to my friends. Then last weekend I was at another national ranker at Hayling island sailing club, Saturday was cancelled because it was too windy. Then on Sunday it was light wind and the tide was strong, so we only finished one race, I was pleased with my result.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Sunderland national ladder

8th Oct, 2019

Sunderland was another windy event, with very tough competition, including a two time Olympian. On the first day it was very windy but with flat water; on the second day there was less wind but with very confused wavy conditions. I was pleased with my result, although my position didn't improve, I did better in relation to my close competition.

Last weekend I had a school trip where I got back on Saturday afternoon, so I missed the first day of the club championships so I didn't qualify overall, but on Sunday I won all three of the races.

Along with sailing I am juggling A levels which I take this year.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

National Ranker At Poole Yacht club

9th Sep, 2019

This weekend I competed at a tough event at Poole yacht club. The fleet was very competitive and the conditions where shifty, gusty and windy; making a tricky first day. As I was camping on Saturday night I couldn't fully stretch and roll out with my foam roller, so I was struggling on day two. The forecast was very light for day two, and after getting back down to the club there was no wind, and after sitting on a postponement for three hours they cancelled the Sunday. So a disappointing event on the whole.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Nationals

22nd Aug, 2019

After a disappointing nationals I am back to training at my home club. I am focusing on starting when I am in my laser and fitness. Along with sailing my laser I have been sailing a RS 200 which has been fun.

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Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

Europa Cup, Warnemunde

19th Jul, 2019

I have just go back from Warnemunde, Germany a Europa cup, my first international in the laser and only my second event in the radial. I had coach support throughout this event from the RYA with a training day at the venue before the event started. Overall, after a light wind event I was pleased with 6th under 18. From the event I learnt a lot especially starting on a youth and senior start line, which originally I struggled with. After getting back from Germany I am preparing for the British nationals in Largs in Scotland.

Gemma Mcdonnell

Gemma Mcdonnell

GO GOLD Athlete

National Squad Training

24th Jun, 2019

After training at my home club, Hollowell, for the past few weeks, I have just had two national squad weekends training in Weymouth. On the first squad weekend it was windy and we focused on starting and in the harbour. Then on the second weekend we focused on speed work in lighter conditions with some swell in the bay. This is my last squad weekends in the laser 4.7 before I move into the laser Radial. In preparation for my transition I am focusing on my fitness, my first international in the radial will be a Europa cup in Warnemünde, Germany, which I was offered coach support with my current squad coach.

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