Well this year due to my involvement with the Olympics I was unable to attend any World Championships, however I hope to make amends by attending two in 2013: the Radial Worlds at the end of August/beginning of September in Ireland and the Radial Masters Worlds in December in Oman. As a result of this I will be taking a little bit of time off at the beginning of the season as it looks like a long 'racing' year next year. However 2012 was not devoid of Championships. I feel as a coach it is vital to race myself, to keep understanding  fully the pressures that the sailors all go through.

For me it has always been a case of normalising things, so whether it is a club race or the Olympics you have your little routines that you can relax into, making it feel just like another day at the office. After all you cannot win a championship on the first day (unless it is a one day championship hehe) but you can lose it. So preparation and consistency of approach is key. After that it is just a case of going out and doing your best in every way, just one step at a time: a good start, a good first beat, a good windward mark rounding... just getting the processes right and fighting for every available point.


This year I managed to do only two major Championships, the Radial Europeans, followed by the Masters Europeans. So after the disappointment of the Radial Europeans where I finished fourth it was great to come back and win six out of eight races at the Masters Europeans. I have not done nearly as many regattas as I would do normally and this has really showed in my race performance. I won three consecutive races at the Europeans to lead the regatta overall but then followed this up with a black flag, forcing me to count a 17th place. Any reasonable result here would have seen me lying second overall, but it was not to be. So it was especially nice to win the Masters.

Sadly I won't be able to do the Masters Europeans next year as it is the week before the UK National championships, which I feel I must attend, especially as I missed the event this year due to its proximity to the Olympics.  However I shall be doing the Radial Europeans which is combined with the Worlds in Ireland at the end of August in 2013.

I am going to take a little time off at the beginning of next year before returning to sailing: to spend more time with friends and family and to allow an old shoulder injury to recover. I feel the element missing from my sailing has been the international races. At the last two UK World Qualification events I attended I won 2 out of 4 and 3 out of 5 races respectively but I failed to find the consistency that I needed to win the events overall. So my goal is clear.

One of the things I stress when coaching is regular racing at top competitions, to keep good habits. As always I need to follow my own advice but there is only so much time in the year. Already I am inundated with coaching requests and it is hard to know what to take up. Certainly the 2016 Olympics may seem a very long way away but actually experience shows that it will be here before you know it, especially with the possibility of the Laser and Radial class having a new rig to get to grips with.

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here