Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Little flashes of sun on a cold dark sea

Those, the words of Jean Paul Sartre in his book Nausea could have described the French Nationals the other weekend, but to view the event from just the five races on the last day would be missing out on the wider adventure that is Moth sailing. Olivier Vidal and Peter Barton also made the overnight ferry trip/small drive down to Quiberon,  and Fabien Froesch, Philip K√§sermann and Mikis Psarofaghis drove up from Switzerland to complete the International contingent.
I went there for a chance to race on a long course and to support the French fleet as the class continues to grow there, and what a fantastic time it was. We didn't sail on the Sunday, too much wind, but to be honest its such a nice place it didn't bother me too much, and we met Thierry Martinez in his Locmariaquer based gallery and went to dinner that night.
The next day the Moths were sent out just to make sure it was impossible to race and I came in 20 capsizes later with mild whip lash and a taste for some more bonhomie...
The only race day was medium conditions and very bumpy. Race one went easily to Philip, with Peter Barton second as I struggle into third place after a major pitchpole and a resolve to drink less in future.
The next race and I still capsized twice but a devil may care "lift it high and fly" strategy (which you should only ever use on the last run) saw me first to the finish. It was great to see Yann Andrillon from France getting up there in his Mach2 and also Fabien going very well.
Great pace rather than any specific skill saw me do well in the next three races and importantly I felt like I'd had a good work out and learnt a bit more about my boat set up.  Peter Barton wound up second, with Fabien third overall but several French sailors showed a lot of grit to give it a go and get round the course.
After the racing we sat around drinking beers in the dinghy park with the members of ASN Quiberon who were so welcoming that it was quite hard to go back home.

Now the worlds are not that far away but with an air temperature on Saturday of 5.7 degrees at HISC (colder than Christmas day) I elected not to sail. I guess my next event will be the UK Nationals so time for some evening sailing.


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