Wind gusting 35 knots. The race committee decided to postpone the race by 1 hour; and then again for 3 hours. At 16:00 we were called onto the water. The wind was incredibly strong and I was focused on NOT capsizing as many were around me! Whilst in the waiting area I watched as the Yellow boys fleet had 4 general recalls which resulted in 23 BFD! Just then my Vectran that connects my boom & mainsheet snapped!! Luckily my coach boat was close-by & David (Hungarian coach), replaced the broken piece within a minute. When I came to shore around 20:00, my face had a white salty film on it. This gives you an idea how high the spray was! Boys fleets completed 2 races and girls only 1. The boys had finished their qualification with 6 races and the girls with 5.
Fleets were divided as follows: Gold, Silver and bronze for the boys. Gold and silver for the girls.
This day was the toughest of the entire competition. Wind gusting 30 knots and HUGE waves sometimes measuring around 3 meters. At 10:00 a postponement of 1 hour was called. Around 12noon both the boys & girls Gold fleets could go onto the water. They completed one race, the jury then gave the go ahead for the remaining fleets to race too. On a reach/broad reach coming out of the port it was really scary going over the waves as I couldn’t see what was on the other side. I was very proud of myself that I had gone out in these very tough condition as some competitors DNS or RET due to the wind and the waves. At the end of the day the boys finished with 9 races and the girls 8.
This day was the best day of the entire competition for me! Perfect conditions – no waves, medium winds and still some current though. I was more confident and very proud of myself as I had done two amazing starts. I was holding third position during both races but lost it all in the beat.
I would like to thank the Hungarian coach David Ralovich for all the great tips & guidance; and more importantly, coming to my rescue when my Vectran broke.
This was my first international competition with sailors from 46 different countries. An experience I will remember forever. Now thinking back to the 5-day competition, I’m happy to have had such tough conditions in the water. This definitely elevated my sailing skills & fitness. My next goal is to improve my strategy on the beat so I don’t loose positions after a great start.
English is the language spoken on the water, but when you have worldwide nationalities, some extremely funny words are spoken or rather shouted, by those not familiar with “starboard” it goes in rhythm like this….”hey, hey,hey”…,” hoi, hoi,hoi,”….hey-hoi,hey-hoi,hey-hoi!!
I was fortunate to meet the Schultheis family – Victoria (2016 Optimist World Champ, Antonia (crowned 2nd girls Gold fleet at Optimist Euro Champ, Crotone) and 11 year old brother Richard crowned 2nd boys Gold fleet at Optimist Euro Champ, Crotone). One family who achieved podium results at the two most important Optimist sailing competitions in the world. Their secret – in the water 3 times a week throughout under supervision of the amazing coach Maurizio.
I look forward to my podium day!
Sailing for life! Just love it!
Chiara Fruet – RSA 1445