I’ll be competing in the longest races I have ever attempted this year, depending on the wind they can last about 4 to 5 days. There are not many sports that span this length of time, which is one of the reasons this sailing is so appealing to me, it is unique. You still have to eat, drink and go to the toilet (in a bucket/ sea) and also sleep; you can’t stay awake for 4 days straight without it being very dangerous and slow. So everything I am training for now will make those tired days offshore pass without a hitch.
A couple of training areas I have been covering the last few days are potentially two of the most important. Going really fast and going the right way. Travelling warp speed in a Figaro takes a lot of time in the boat out on the water, getting all the experience you can in different conditions. Each Figaro is supposedly the same but like an F1 car you can fine tune the boat, and turn it into a Mercedes. Most days are spent lining up against the French and other Artemis Academy sailors and drag race for several minutes, trimming the sails and balancing the boat as we go. A good time to have your technical head on.
Going the right way is improved more in the class room which can be a welcome rest now and then. We have top navigator Christian Dumard, who has worked on countless Solitaires and round the world races, to enlighten us. A real weather guru with great English. He teaches us about the unpredictable weather and the unusual land features on our race courses along France and England. Where I am used to racing in such small areas this year I’ll cover over a thousand miles of coastline with a tactical feature around each headland. I am sure these won’t be dull races.
Each week is throwing up something new and exciting and I think at the end of the day how much fun I am having, before quickly falling asleep. I am trying to do a little video explanation on the water at convenient moments but haven’t sorted out my cool Ron Burgundy voice yet, all in good time.