Today was just a strong Nor Easter and the harbor was a classic short chop with bigger waves being from ferries, cruisers, yachts and coachboats etc. Breeze was streaming down the harbor and it was unclear as to which side would work as both had high angles off respective shores.
3 races back to back with little to no break was always going to be tough but I set about it anyway of course!
First race I started well down from boat end and feeling strong used good speed to extend and tack when I saw a little set of waves. Only frustrating thing was I didn’t go far enough left and near the top the boats that went a little further crossed me. So I rounded in 4th.
By the bottom I was in 2nd after a sterling downwind and then on the 2nd beat I went left out to the shore. It didn’t work for me like it worked for them before and I should have just gone with the majority of the front group and gone right. Rounded in 5th …
By the finish I was still 5th … arghh
Race 2 was almost a repeat except that I didn’t go far enough into the shore on starboard tack and lost a few boats. Rounded the top in around 3rd but then fell back on the downwind not moving to pressure enough and having trouble tripping up on waves. Held on to 4th comfortably chasing after Maloney but watched as on the final beat he extended a little as I fatigued. Very very frustrating, its like my lower back just says no more and extension into a ‘plank’ increases the pain barrier. You get super internalized and end up not making decisions on the water which is such a downward spiral. Something I really need to work on in tandem with the actual cause itsef! I then couldn’t find the groove on the run and lost one more boat near the finish …
Coming into the final race I did a few press backs on the deck, stretched out hip flexors and did a few quick upwinds but knew it was going to be a tough race. Off the start I got rolled by JWest like I was standing still. Average speed because hiking was just lacking leverage. I tacked out and found a lane from the right but then the breeze went hard left on the shore. I rounded in around 15th and maybe chipped my way back to 12th or 13th.
In terms of actual outcomes today I was happy to see another windy day pass and my body doing its job!. It is a real positive outcome that I can race with some confidence. I still have limitations of course, but I feel if I can continue to build the ability to stay in extension (Hiking) then I will be able to complete regattas and get back into the laser game properly. Especially once I am able to add in laser specific cross training again. I don’t care how much I get told, swimming and lighter gym/bodyweight programs just doesn’t cut it in terms of performance. They are just stepping stones to getting back to what works.
It’s one of those things in life that I am learning about patience and ‘the long game’. Sometimes the frustration and need for gratification breaks you and you think I’m ready, I’m strong, i know I had speed before etc. But you need to stay cool and deal with it. Its all about remaining patient, letting your confidence and strength grow and finding a balance that works. It is the biggest lesson in mental toughness and also a lesson in humility. I feel it makes a stronger person and I know that will convert for me down the line in life when the time comes.
Tomorrow looks 10 – 15 knots on the harbor and its an early start at 10am. Will be a nightmare in the traffic so will probably have to leave pretty early in the morning. It’s a gradient so shifty again and tomorrow being a Saturday the harbor will be a washing machine with so much on water traffic. Looking forward to having another crack at it.