Sponsored sailor Ross Thompson reports on the 2018 420 Junior Europeans.
The week started off with a medium strength breeze of about 14-16knots.
The first day of racing was all about getting to the pressure and staying in it for as long as possible. We managed to smash in with two second places leaving us joint second overall going into day 2.
Day 2 was a similar wind strength but with slightly larger shifts. The first race of the day we had a bad start but managed to climb our way back through the fleet to finish 8th. In the second race we managed to secure our first race win of the event, crossing the finish line a minute before the next boat which is always a nice feeling.
We went into the last day of qualifying in second position with all still to play for. The breeze was all over the place with massive holes appearing across the race course giving a range of 2-20knots. We got caught out in the first race of the day rounding the windward mark in a very tricky position. We managed to claw back a few places but only enough to secure a 23rd place finish. However in race 2 all went to plan again. We sailed fast and avoided the holes giving us our second race win of the event. Putting us 3rd going into the final series.
Day 4 was a very different day. Although there was similar wind strength, the course had been moved towards a set of cliffs. This meant the race track was very right side favoured. We port tacked the fleet twice however it was all about who got to the right hand side first. So we scored a 14th and a 7th.
We went into the penultimate day of racing still in the hunt in 3rd position.
The wind was a bit lighter on day 5 but we still felt quick in tuning. We failed to get off the line in both races which made it very difficult to catch up so we scored two shockers (29th and 27th). We were devastated after that day as it dropped us down to 6th overall and quite far off the medals. But we picked ourselves up ready to take some big risks to catch up on the final day.
The final day was very similar conditions. We managed to get off the start cleanly in both races but made some big tactical errors not managing to spot some big bands of breeze. Our heads went down after that so we picked up two 40s on the final day.
We finished 12th overall and top British boat which was better than expected but a bit upsetting given how the start of the week was going.
We have the World Championships at the beginning of August in the USA so we hope to make amends and get a solid finish there.
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