I went for a sail yesterday.
The first time in the mini since the Fastnet; it was great to be out on the Solent on a windy day, dodging the sandbanks, ferries and corporate racing fleets; but boy, did I feel alone.
Not another mini in sight.
For now I am grounded in the UK; my funds have run out and I cannot carry on with the rest of the racing and training that is going on in France.
The MAP single handed race starts tomorrow from Douardonez and I am feeling pretty miserable that I am not there to profit from the racing, training, experience and be with the rest of the crazy people who will be sailing across the Atlantic this September.
Over the next couple of months, I will be working and making a big push to try and find the rest of my expenses through sponsorship to cover my race costs and if possible to return to France and carry on training with other mini’s in the build up to the start.
Until then I will stay in the UK and I realised yesterday how important it is that I make a proper structure for my training and make the most of what I have here on my doorstep. It would be very easy to go out everyday and just sail up and down without purpose; but I need to define what I want to achieve each day and make sure that I have learned / practiced something and there is a way to self debrief and benefit from each day on the water.
I have decided to run my days much as we did at CEM, with exercise first thing, a morning of work writing and following up sponsorship leads, then take to the water after lunch with an objective in mind.
Though I cannot compare my boatspeed with others the areas I feel I can work on are manoeuvres, sail selection, boat settings – though I cannot compare my speed against another boat I will have to be meticulous about recording my own data, speed, wind angles, wind speed etc, fitness and familiarity around the boat, sailing at night.
I will also be able to start looking at and analysing the weather for the race, listening to the broadcasts from meteo france on the SSB and starting to make my road book for the big event.
So enough moping! Yes, I wish I was with the others; but this is me, here, now. I will make the most of where I am and the people I have around me.
I will keep a diary of what I do each day to monitor my progress; I believe I can self coach and prepare my self in isolation from the other boats, it’s just going to take discipline and motivation…… what this space!