Sam Davies Diary - Part 4

More lessons learned during the Mini-Pavois
I am now back on dry land, after a hard week’s racing Aberdeen Asset Management singlehanded in the Mini-Pavois, probably the toughest race in this year’s calendar for the Minis excluding the Transat. The start in La Rochelle was so much easier than my last race. There was a light north breeze. The Mini is so much easier to handle in the pre-start when it is light. My start was good, and I got away in clear air. I kept an eye on where the locals were going as the sea breeze was developing. I knew that Karen (Liebovici - another competitor) would know where the best place for the sea breeze was, and she did. I was just behind her as we went under the bridge (to Isle de Re) in fifth place. The press boats followed me up that beat taking lots of pictures and shouting encouragement. I think the French like to see foreign girls doing well. On the first night I learned my first big lesson of the race. I had been in the leading bunch of five boats that had benefited by the sea breeze and we were about half an hour ahead of everyone else. Unfortunately, because we were so far ahead and so intent on racing each other, none of us kept our heads up and we missed the next big shift and increase in wind near the shore. We had all gone offshore in a group and the next boats behind us tacked inshore, got the shift and overtook us. It was very depressing seeing loads of red nav lights scooting past me inshore when I couldn’t get there in time. Then I knew I had some work to do to catch up. I targeted boats one by one and did manage to get