It seems forever since I have done any international class racing and the “rust” showed. Simple decisions can make all the difference and my decision making was perhaps not what it should have been!
Being out of practice I decided that it was definitely worth doing the Practice race and the conditions were glamour. Indeed, it turned out to be the best conditions of the whole regatta. Big waves and a strong sea breeze kicked in at 15:00 like clockwork. I picked up the boat from Jean-Luc Michon the day before the practice race. It actually belonged to his daughter Pernelle. We collected our Australian boats in Melbourne at the same time. Therefore the boat was only 1 number different from my boat at home and with my sail, tiller, and South East sailing ropes (plus Gareth Griffiths traveller) it felt exactly the same as my boat at home.
I always do my best to be prepared both as a Coach and a Sailor, and attention to detail on race day can make all the difference to one’s performance. We need to remember that weather forecasts are just that, forecasts: they can be wrong (or often it is just a case of the timing being off).
Therefore, when heading to the water I always try and be ready for anything. More food and drink than I can possibly use (and in the case of the Coaching RIB, more fuel) and suitable clothes should the weather turn significantly hotter or colder.
I guess my biggest project during Covid-19 crisis has been Restart Sailing. To get people back on the water sailing safely. We have of course seen extremes with some people very unwilling to leave their houses to others who just wanted to carry on as normal. Of course, this was perhaps led by their own personal experiences or scientific knowledge. Personally, I have had friends die and other friends who had the Corona Virus with absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. The good news is sailing is probably one of the best and safest activities we can be doing and the ILCA Nationals is one of the few Nationals going ahead this year and will be definitely be featured on the next show.
The aim of Restart Sailing was clear. To help people get back to sailing in a safe and fun way by carefully managing the risks. A packed changing room is obviously not a safe place if someone may have/be spreading the virus. Whereas once out on the water, hopefully on a nice sunny day and strong wind is perhaps the best environment you can be in! The RYA have done a great job here and I want to thank the RYA’s Racing Director Ian Walker for appearing on the Restart Sailing show. The show is shown live every 2 weeks on the Coach Yourself to Win Facebook page and then uploaded to the jonemmettsailing YouTube channel.
This weekend I did my 1st Sunday club race of the season at Castle Cove Sailing Club. The conditions in Portland harbour were great: 20 knots, gusting 26 although there are no photos to prove this because the race team of Kev and Dave had their hands full looking after the fleet and perhaps for me it was good there was no photographic evidence after such a long time out of the boat.
Well I was going to write a blog entitled, “We are going to the Olympics” and then… everything changed.
Laser2020 seems a long time ago and so much has changed since then. With the 2020 Radial World Championships being the final event in the qualification we did the best possible preparation. Indeed Sandringham Yacht Club feels very much like home and I do miss it. James Mitchell and his team did an amazing job and I also need to say a special thanks to Ajay and Hannah who looked after our stuff over the Christmas holidays. You can see many interviews from all these events (Standard Worlds, Radial Worlds and Masters Oceanic Championships) on the Jonemmettsailing youtube channel.
Jon Emmett has over 20 years of coaching experience from grass roots to Olympic Gold.