The 470 Girls reflect on 2011

The 470 Girls reflect on 2011

Friday January 6 2012 Author: Saskia Clark Location: United Kingdom

Happy New Year Everyone!  We hope you have all had time to enjoy the festive period.

We just got back to Weymouth after what seems like a whistle stop tour over the last month and are getting ready to leave again! We have returned home [from the Perth International Regatta] World Champion Silver Medallists and are definitely pleased with the end result, even if the method left a bit to be desired.

 

We knew our preparation for Perth was slightly compromised as we opted to go to Australia late in favour of an extended autumn training period in Weymouth and then a break in November. Other teams were training hard in the Worlds venue; as for most nations it was an important regatta for Olympic selection.  So when we hit Perth 10 days out from the regatta, ready to train hard, many teams were winding down their training in favour of getting some pre regatta rest.  It was something we managed well and with the help of the other British teams had a small training group that enabled us to get what we needed done.

The regatta started with a stormy off shore day and the week would continue with variable and mixed conditions with the ‘Freemantle Doctor’ only showing itself occasionally and not very strong.

Our lack of pre regatta racing really showed as we struggled to get off the start line, which made the first part of the race difficult. Once at the windward mark though we raced well, with great downwind speed and good decisions throughout the rest of the races we managed to pull back to top 10 results avoiding any disastrous scores.  As the regatta went on and others posted some high scores, we slowly climbed up the leader board.

The points for medal race were tight, although we sat in 3rdonly 4 points separated us from 6th, so our plan was to race confidently, back ourselves and not try and protect what we had- with 4 boats in the mix it would have been too complicated. The plan worked and a confident start saw us to the windward mark in 1stand able to extend throughout the rest of the race. Results from the other teams meant that we got the Silver.

Sat at the beginning of 2012 I don’t think either of us can quite believe what we pulled off this year. Our first day in a 470 together was 17thFebruary and since then we have won 2 silvers at Worlds Cup, a European bronze, Test Event and World Championship Silver and most importantly selection for London 2012.  We have had some great results in 2011 but are fully aware that this is the year that counts.  Excitingly though we have a huge list of improvements to make before we start racing on the 2ndAugust.   And it begins now, we have just left for St Moritz for a cross country ski & fitness camp (downhill & snowboarding strictly banned- boooo!)

We would like to thank everyone and all our sponsors especially Volvo Car UK for all the support this year, at times it was quite a huge and daunting task but everyone's support has definitely helped us this far.   

Saskia  

Find out more on the 470 Girls and Team Volvo in the Volvo Sailing App. Search for Volvo Sailing in the App store or download from http://bit.ly/njBSk4

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