I am writing this flash update from the south of France in the town of Hyeres. This seaside spot in Provence annually hosts Sailing World Cup Hyeres. The regatta features all of the Olympic Classes, including a world class fleet of 60 Lasers. The championship runs from April 25-30.
Here’s a cool video video showing some of the conditions that Hyeres is known for.
This regatta follows a quick 3 week turnaround after racing in Mallorca earlier in April. After the Princess Sofia Regatta, I returned to Long Beach and promptly got back into the gym. The second week in Long Beach featured some sailing out of ABYC with Chris Barnard. We worked on some “homework” drills given to us by coach Chris Dold after competing in Palma.
All three of us flew back to Barcelona on the morning of the 18th. After a rendezvous (we’re in France now after all) at the baggage claim, we took a train to the storage facility where our rental car and trailer were stored. We got on the road for a 6 hour road trip from Barcelona to Hyeres, passing the Pyrenees mountains and a few idyllic seaside towns that Provence is known for. We finally arrived in Hyeres late in the evening after 30+ hours of travel (worth it, of course!).
The next 4 days featured on the water training in various conditions, including 2 days of strong breeze and 2 days of medium breeze. The heavy days featured upwind work on tacking, gybing, accelerating, and basic hiking form. The downwind sailing was quite wild and all about keeping the boat stable and fast. A large portion of the fleet was out training, making for some fast paced action! Add in a couple tune up sessions at the gym and we are ready to go!
The fleet at this regatta is a world class fleet of 60. There is no qualifying series, so all 5 days of fleet racing will be gold fleet level racing. There are 2 races scheduled each day for 10 races total and one discard race.
The goals here are simple: high starting percentage, pass boats after the first mark, and execute better in a few common situations. Coach Dold will be giving Chris and I quality information before the start, helping us get a clean opening to each race.
Results will be available on the event website: http://swc.ffvoile.fr/