My best ranking at an international regatta – and the insight that it’s a looong way to the top
We’ve sailed a fantastic first selection regatta in Marseille, the Coupe Internationale de Printemps des Optimist (http://www.ycpr.net/cip-optimist-du-9-au-15-avril-2016/presentation.html) last week. The weather was great, around 20 degrees Celsius all week and wind of between 10 and 30 knots. It was a bit of a rough start as it was the first day where it blew 30+ knots. Racing was abandoned after just one race. That race initially went unexpectedly well for me… before I capsized and did not even meet the time limit, my first DNF in a long time.
We sailed another eleven races during the five days of the regatta. I made it to silver fleet and became 108th out of 297 sailors (top 36 percent). My Swiss rank was 27th which means that I need to overtake at least ten Swiss Opti sailors at the next selection regatta in Workum in two weeks’ time. That’ll be pretty hard I guess :-(.
The good news rankingwise somehow is that I was 14th of 74 sailors of my age overall, and fourth among the Swiss Optis born 2004.
It’s my best overall ranking in an international regatta (well, except for the “Cadetti” last year in Riva but that doesn’t really count), which is nice and I feel I improved myself on many dimensions – but I realized that there’s quite a distance between me and the best Opti sailors. I need more stability as it I had a wild mixture of pretty good races and really bad ones with DNF/29/27/10 in the qualifying races and 53/13/51/36/6/12/21 in silver fleet. And I need to improve onn my downwind sailing, especially in strong wind and big waves. I sense it is a matter of getting more sailing practice in these conditions...
The regatta was very well organized. I also again seized the opportunity to improve my French, especially at the starting line (see the photo below ;-)). I also listened to quite a bit of English since this time our coach was Przemek Struś, the Polish national Opti coach. He did a great job and I learned quite a bit from him which I hope to put into practice soon.
The whole trip was organized by Daniel, Maxime’s father. Maxime is the guy who is exactly my age but who has always been ahead of me. He came in 14th overall, 4th Swiss!! Very impressive indeed, and on track for a qualification to the World Championships at the age of eleven!!
My SSTR5 team mate Jonas did very well, too, ending at 38th place and as 12th Swiss. He has an excellent chance to qualify for the European Championships!!
Things did not do so well for my big brother Niklas since he got four black flags in a row and one DNF because he sailed to the wrong race area :-(. But anyway, he survived the 30 knots on the first day. And he won two races in Emerald fleet.
Big thanks go to the Thommen family for the organization and to Przemek for the excellent coaching.
Cool videos: http://www.ycpr.net/cip-optimist-du-9-au-15-avril-2016/videos.html (spot me in clip 3 and 4 ;-)).
Photo credit: Gilles Martin-Raget, http://www.martin-raget.com.
Coming up next is a national championship in Spiez, Lake Thun. Followed by a trip to my grandparents and the Dutch Youth Regatta in Workum to which I am very much looking forward (I really like sailing the same regattas multiple times).
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My name is Simon Kaiser and I simply love sailing.