I have just recently returned home from a relatively short trip to Denmark and Holland. An eye opening experience results wise, however a fantastic learning opportunity. I travelled to Europe solo but met up with coach Jared West and training squad of Mara Stransky, Elyse Ainsworth, Marlena Berzins and Annie Eastgate when I arrived in Hamburg. First up we drove to Aarhus, Denmark the location of the 2018 World Sailing World Championships to begin familiarising ourselves with the waters and a change of scenery to train in.
It was the coldest conditions I have ever trained in with 8 degree air temperature and sub 10 degree water temperature for the first few days, although it was cold it certainly toughened me up. We had roughly a week of training with all conditions and were joined by Rio 2016 Bronze medalist Anne-marie Rindom amongst others for some practise racing at the end of the week. I really enjoyed Denmark and am excited to go back in August.
Next up we drove to Medemblik, Holland (9 hours in a packed van with the trailer on the back) to compete in our first ever open European event the Delta Lloyd Regatta, because Medemblik is the location of our class worlds this year it was a very hotly contested event in the Laser Radial. It was a great opportunity to line up next to and learn off the top girls in the fleet and observe how professional they are in what they do. The first day of racing brought 15-20 knots and saw me post some very big scores, I quickly learnt that every small mistake is very costly in such close, high level racing. I had subtle improvements on day 2 however with no drops in qualifying the poor scores from day 1 meant that I would be in silver fleet. With over half of the regatta to go I had to re-focus and take the opportunity to learn what I could in the silver fleet as well as sit back and watch the gold fleet starting. A huge congratulations to Manami Doi (JPN) who regularly sails out of Fremantle Sailing Club for her first major regatta win, she is an excellent example of what hard work and dedication leads you to achieve.
I am excited to train as hard as possible over the next month as well as study for University exams before I take off for the big events of the year in July/August.
2016 proved to be a huge year not without it's challenges. At the start of the year I secured a scholarship in the WAIS (WA Institute of Sport) program which was really exciting. With my sights set on winning the World Sailing Youth World Cup spot for Australia I trained hard ahead of the deciding selection regatta in Brisbane. Winning convincingly I turned my attention the the ILCA Youth World Championships in Ireland my first international competition in the Laser Radial. I won! This was very exciting and I'll never forget my team mates hoisting my boat out the water with me on it chanting Aussie Aussie Aussie!
On returning home I began to feel unusually tired and was diagnosed with glandular fever. It was so frustrating as I was unable to train for upcoming major competitions that included Sail Melbourne and my Youth World Cup event in New Zealand. Under the circumstances I was pleased to achieve a place in the medal race and a credible 7th at the Youth World cup.