The Formula Windsurfing British Open held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was an interesting event for me as I went there with no expectations having had only a limited season. As it turned out, I was actually in first place overall for much of the event and only lost this in the final moments of the event.
There was a heated battle between myself and Keith Atkinson with the rest of the fleet comfortably enough behind which really made me think more about the tactics involved in match racing against one competitor. There were more errors made on my part than by Keith so I think overall he finished in the right spot.
The lack of recent competition provided a slight lack of confidence and familiarity with the conditions and how to handle them. I took the incorrect sail in race 5. The reports from the water suggested that there was 14-16 knots and so I decided to take a smaller sail on the basis that I knew this to be quicker in those conditions.
However, after an extended period of waiting for the race to commence, the wind had dropped as forecast and I was significantly underpowered. Somehow, I still managed to pump my way around the course effectively against all others except Keith who convincingly took that race.
In the final race I made a couple of tactical mistakes early on. Whilst I had better speed and was making up the difference those mistakes had generated, the event was was lost by 10 metres in the end.
I walked away both surprised and frustrated; more training, preparation and increased frequency of competitive sailing would have made a great deal of difference to that result. Whilst I was the victor in the masters age category, I was tantalizingly close to taking the overall event title.