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Post Palma Update from Ashley Stoddart

Post Palma Update from Ashley Stoddart

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Hi Everyone,

The first event of my trip, the ISAF World Cup Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta finished up over the weekend here in Palma Mallorca. I finished 3rd in the Silver Fleet and 48th overall, amongst the 96 competitors in total.

Congratulations to now World number 1 and London 2012 Silver Medallist, Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands on a superb week of sailing. Marit took out the Laser Radials and the overall trophy for the event with the lowest points scorecard across all boat classes, which is super impressive.

The regatta certainly presented its challenges for both the sailors and the race committee, with plenty of waiting on and off the water. The week started with light and shifty winds, we had 3 races scheduled and raced on the first day of competition in light and lumpy conditions. The following day we waited for hours on shore and then on the water for wind, until finally a breeze line came from the east. These two short days with only 4 races concluded the qualifying series of racing to determine gold and silver fleets. Unfortunately, but only due to my race performances, I narrowly missed out on gold fleet.

The first day of finals racing was bizzaar, the entire bay was filled with wind including up to 20 knots on the 470 course and then there was our Laser Radial with random breeze lines coming from every direction and glass-outs which made it very difficult for the race committee to get a race in. The closest we got was with the gold fleet getting around the top mark, and the silver fleet being in a starting sequence before the race was completely abandoned due to a huge left shift. At the end of the day we were sent into shore with no racing.

The next two days of finals racing, we had some great sailing conditions to complete 3 races on both days.

Although I have been pleased with my preseason training, I felt I lacked the bigger, international level competition race experience. The last time I was duking it out with these girls was in September/October 2013 at the Worlds and ISAF World Cup in China. This fleet racing definitely requires a “take no prisoners” attitude to be at the top, and I’m determined to get there.

I was happy with my progression through the week of racing, I began to feel more comfortable in the tight racing environment and felt a lift in my overall performance. I finished the week off with a few top 10’s in the silver fleet, this was a nice way to end the regatta.

I now have a few days to make my way to Hyeres, I’m focused to build on what I learnt here in Palma and take that into the next ISAF World Cup in Hyeres, France.

Thank you for following my sailing!

 

Ashley