- GO GOLD Athlete
- Royal Yachting Association
- Robert Smyth Academy
- Achievements from Application:
3rd GBR Female Topper World Championships / 36th Overall
This athlete also receives free leisure facility access from: Harborough District Leisure Trust
Unfortunately, I have had to stop my training again due to another lockdown and this has been really disappointing. It's very challenging to stay motivated and focused on my goals but I have been trying to keep up with my fitness although sailing is a difficult sport to replicate at home! I'm just hoping to be back on the water as soon as it is possible and safe to do so.
Despite the cold weather, I was glad to be back on the water this month with a weekend of training and a small event at my club. The training was in heavy wind conditions with a focus on starting and I really enjoyed it. It was challenging and I definitely felt like I became more comfortable with tactics I wouldn't usually try. I also took part in the Draycote Double, a two-race event for members of my club, getting a 2nd and a 1st in the Laser radial fleet meaning I finished 1st Laser radial and 10th overall. The racing was really close with some good competition so I'm pleased with how I sailed.
Unfortunately due to the second lockdown, I was unable to sail this month which was really disappointing but I have tried to keep up my fitness at home. I also spent some time watching through videos of the training sessions I've done over the past months, recapping what I learnt at them. This was really useful and isn't something I've been able to do before as we used to just do a debrief in person after sailing. Hopefully I will be able to sail again in December and continue to work hard through the winter.
This month I did my first laser qualifier at Weymouth. Unlike the nationals it was light winds which I am better in so this was a really good event for me. It didn't start off very well with a couple of low postitions however the rest of the races went well. I finished 40th overall and first under 17 girl although it was close. For my second national laser event, I'm really pleased with how I performed and it's great to see progress from my last event even within a few weeks. I'm looking forward to doing more events both nationally and locally and hopefully improving even more.Photo credits: @g_altham_photography (instagram)
More Information: sailwave.com
This month, I did my first two ILCA training weekends at Weymouth (WPNSA) and Bartley sailing club. These were really fun and I definitely learnt a lot, getting practice in light, medium and heavy winds. It was also great to sail with new people in different places to vary my sailing a bit. Due to covid restrictions, we weren't able to debrief properly and this meant the coaches instead sent videos of the sailing and feedback for us online. I've actually found this quite helpful as it means I can rewatch the videos and really see how I sail.
I also did the last race in our club racing series and finished 9th in the laser fleet and 8th overall in the series which I'm really pleased with.
As well as continuing weekly training at my club, this month I took part in the Laser National championships. This was my first large Laser event (and second Laser event overall) and it was a great experience. Compared to my previous class, the topper, the level of sailing is much higher and the sailors much more experienced so I set myself the goal to finish outside the bottom 10 (out of 97 competitors). Despite some really challenging racing and winds of almost 45 km/h on the first day, I managed to finish 38th out of 48 in the silver fleet and so achieved my goal. I'm really proud of how I did and really enjoyed the event. Hopefully I can only improve from here!
As most events have been cancelled this year, I recently made the decision to start transitioning to a new class of boat now rather than in a few months. This means I have been mostly training in the laser radial which has a bigger hull and bigger sail than the topper. I'm getting used to the differences between them and really enjoying sailing the boat as it's better suited to my size.
Last week I took part in an event at my club in my topper which was interesting as I haven't sailed it very much recently. It felt quite small and different to the laser and I didn't do as well as I would have liked but I don't mind as I know this means I'm getting more comfortable in the new boat.
(Picture is of the topper)
This month Ive managed to get out sailing again several times and I am so glad to be back on the water! Its not quite the same as groups are limited to 6 people however it has still been really enjoyable to train either on my own or with a small group. Ive found it quite difficult to stay motivated when I sail alone as there isnt that same competition and pressure but its still far better than not sailing at all.
Since last blog, I still haven't been able to get back on the water as most reservoirs near me are closed however it's likely be able to sail again soon. I've continued to work on my core fitness everyday so I stay in good physical condition and have also been watching YouTube videos produced by the RYA several times a week which focus on theory, fitness and motivation. These have been really useful and encouraging so I hope I can put some of the information I have learnt from them in to practice soon!
More Information: youtube.com
One of the hardest parts of this lockdown for me has been the fact that I can't sail. I'm so used to sailing almost every weekend so I'm really starting to miss it now. However, I've been trying to keep up my fitness by working out a bit every day so that I will be ready to train and compete when this is over. I have also taken part in a 4 day online virtual sailing event which helps with tactics on the race course. I'm slowly getting the hang of the controls and improving but it's very different to actual sailing!
This month I had my second squad camp in Paignton and a traveller at South Staffordshire. Both of these were freezing cold and it's really difficult to stay motivated and focused. I came 4th in the traveller which isn't bad but I would have hoped to do better so I think I need to work on my lighter wind sailing in the cold. At the squad camp, we worked on boat handling on the start line and I'm really happy with my improvement in that. When I compare it with this time last year, I really notice a difference which motivates me to keep working and learn as much as I can again this year.
This month I had my first camp with my new squad (UK topper junior). I was in the squad last year but I feel a lot more experienced going into it this year and am looking forward to training with new people! The camp was a four day residential in Weymouth at the national sailing academy, where we also had talks from (soon to be 3 time) Olympian, Luke Patience and European laser champion, Lorenzo Chiavarini which was very inspiring.
We couldn't sail on the first day due to heavy winds but I learnt loads over the week and had so much fun despite breaking my mast and ripping a sail! I especially loved surfing the waves in almost 35 knots but wasn't so keen on the early morning shuttle runs up the pebbles of Chesil beach! Looking forward to next camp!
This year, the last event in the national series was in Plymouth. It was a light wind event but we still sailed both days and did 5 races. I was consistently in the top 10 or low teens and finished 18th and 2nd girl which I am pretty happy with as it's an improvement from last year. I also did the regional championships at Draycote water which is a local event. It was very heavy winds and we couldn't race until 4 o'clock on the Saturday. Hopefully, I'll improve my fitness this winter to cope better in heavier wind but I still think I did well with two 1sts and finishing 3rd overall and 1st girl. Based on my results this season I have also been selected for the UK topper junior again for training this winter so I'm excited to see how much more I can learn and improve!
More Information: gbrtopper.ourclubadmin.com
At the start of August, just after the worlds, I had to travel up to Largs in Scotland for the national championships. Last year I came 40th and I wanted to improve on that after a year of coaching. The first day wasn't great but after that I kept consistently good results and worked my way back up the fleet. I finished 27th and 6th girl (which I got a trophy for) and was pretty pleased. It was a difficult event though as the last two days we couldn't sail due to either too little or too much wind but overall it was really good. Next year I'm hoping for top 15 or even top 10 but I'll have to work hard this winter and keep training.
More Information: gbrtopper.ourclubadmin.com
This month has been very busy for me with a National series event, a traveller and the world championships in Holland. It was the first time I had sailed abroad and my first world championships. The first day was very windy so it was quite difficult for me as I'm a fairly small sailor. At the end of the day I was placed over 100th and knew I had to gain back a lot of places. With less wind for the rest of the week (and sometimes too little wind to sail!) I worked my way back up the fleet, managed to get into gold fleet and finish 36th and 8th girl. I hope next year I do a bit better but for my first worlds I was pretty happy and it was a really good experience and a week to remember.
This month I have had a National Series, the midland champs and a traveller. I haven't been sailing as well as I would have liked this month but I have still had some good moments. Since I have started in this class of boat, most of my sailing has gone well so it's always challenging when you feel like you're not performing. However, the important thing is to focus on the successes and try to work out what went wrong. Next month I am going to stay focused and keep learning and working out how to improve and be more consistent.
Since my last blog, I have done one National event and two Travellers ,a local series of events which are great for sailing practice with less pressure. However there is still some really good competition so I was very pleased when I won the first of the two! It was at Northampton sailing club and the wind was quite difficult but with two 2nds, a 5th and a 1st I won my first ever event! The weekend before at the Inland championships was also a success! We didn't get out on the first day due to extremely high winds but I managed to get 3rd girl outside the top three overall and was very happy because it's the second biggest national event! I definitely feel like I am improving as a sailor and especially becoming more confident in myself.
More Information: gbrtopper.ourclubadmin.com
The youth nationals is a week long sailing event for youth classes and I was very excited as this year my class, the topper, was invited to take part for the first time. I was selected to go based on my results from last season and it was a great experience despite the fact that the weather was too bad to sail for two of the four days. We managed to get in a total of 7 races and I came 11th out of 30 and 3rd girl overall. I was really pleased and thoroughly enjoyed the week.
More Information: rya.org.uk