After all the blustery mistral, we were treated with a couple of days of rain here in La Grande Motte, which saw all the French hiding in their rooms and only the hardiest of the Artemis Offshore Academy out training.
I joined Nigel King and Sam Goodchild for a wet day on the water on Sunday.
It was, as is normal here, an offshore breeze, so I set the big spinnaker and chased off into the gloom trying to find the boys in their Figaros.
Sailing downwind in the mini is so much fun that even with water dripping off your nose and very little visibility, the blues are left in your wake and a smile creeps over your face even if you really don’t want it to.
I wish I could say the same for upwind!
Yesterday, a watery sun shone, and the rain had gone, so after a morning swimming session and a briefing with Franc we hit the water.
At the moment I am the only mini out on the water, the others are either in refit, or away from the centre. However, motivation is not hard as I go out with the Figaros, and give myself exercises to perform, getting to know my boat inside out.
It is very worthwhile, though in truth, I am champing at the bit to go off on a longer sail than just an afternoon.
After an hour spent motoring around in circles, calibrating the second compass for my pilot, yesterday I spent time making light wind gybes and tacks, looking at my upwind sail settings and seeing how small adjustments affect my speed.
I have noticed already that my training is taking it’s toll on my sails, the solent is starting to look quite battered in the bottom section, from where is rubs on the guard rails and is gathered up for reefing.
I am currently trying to buy a couple of second hand sails to get me through my qualifying passage and races, then hope to have a new wardrobe for the rest of the year to race with, and keep my current ones for training.
And so my mind has turned to the mammoth task of finding and buying all the other necessary equipment for racing this year, and to find the funding to cover it…………… it’s a huge job for such a small boat!