I am absolutely delighted to announce a new sponsor, Neil Pryde. It has been a difficult season for me so far which started with a leaky boat which I finally managed to sort out ready for the Holland Europa Cup.

Here I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory going into the final race in second place with the then leader OCS.

I had the event in my grasp only to get black flagged myself and forced to take an early shower..

To add insult to injury the regatta had an excellent tracking system so that you could watch all the races live over the internet (we each carried a transmitter on our boats).

So I saw my overall result drop from second to sixth as I was forced to count a fourteen and the guys just behind me scored 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the final race to pass me at the last minute.

It was all I could do not to shout “capsize” at the screen every time they approached a gybe mark!

Follow the links at the bottom of this blog to see the races.

The Europa cup has always been a great warm up for me for the European and the World Championships.

A chance to get some hiking miles in my legs, some starting practice and to test the gear I am going to use. However I had of course hoped to repeat my success of last year where I won all the four events I entered.

My next stop was Denmark, an event I won with a race to spare in 2008.

Obviously my hope was to repeat this success.

However a top three seemed a more appropriate goal.

The start of the event was incredibly windy and in the second race I passed over half the full rig fleet as the wind gusted up to 40 knots!

In the extreme conditions I was very pleased to have all my new Neil Pryde gear as I was probably one of the only people who was warm!!!

Unfortunately on the way in I tried to be a nice guy and avoid the carnage on the slipway.

Sadly the result was me capsizing on the rocks, holing my boat and severely bending the mast I intended to use for the Europeans.

However you are allowed to measure in only one set of spars so I had to continue to use these.

I bent the top section back, used plastic padding to fill the hole in my boat (it was a long night as the air temperature was below 10 degrees) but I couldn’t do anything about my bottom section.

Despite this I went into the last race in the lead.

After the extreme conditions of the start of the regatta the final race was sailed in sunshine and light winds and unfortunately with my lower mast looking similar to a banana.

I could not get the boat to point and finished out of the top ten to lose the championship by just a single point.

However all things considered I am definitely on the up.

I am now back in Weymouth for a couple of weeks (to pick up a new lower mast!) and do some coaching with Erika Fredrikson the young Swiss girl going to the Youth Worlds.