• josephmullan

Under 21 European Championships

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

On the 15th of August, I travelled to Båstad, Sweden, for the Under 21 European Championships. The first day of the event went off to a great start, getting a 3rd and 2nd in the first two races and putting me in 3rd overall.

On the second day, it was important to keep composure, with many people in the top 5 being separated by a point or even tied on points; every place counted. I got off to a bad start in the first race finishing 6th after a couple of bad decisions towards the end of the first beat, however, I was able to regain my focus and finish 2nd in the next race. This meant I was still lying in 3rd place overall.

On day 3, we were faced with very different and more difficult conditions. In the first race of the day, I had a poor start and struggled to claw my way back to the front of the fleet, finishing 16th. It was exceedingly close for all of the sailors in the top 5 in the second race with people changing places on every leg of the course. I was, however, able to keep my composure and finish 3rd in the second and final race of the day. This meant that I finished the Qualifying series in 3rd overall in Gold Fleet.

Day 4 was the start of the final series, we had very strong and shifty winds. I felt that I had really good boat speed and made some good decisions all day but just seemed to struggle to get off the line in both races. I didn't get the kinds of results I had been hoping for and unfortunately dropped to 6th overall. The points were all still really close though amongst the sailors in the top 10 so the medals were all still to play for.

On day 5, we were held on shore for a while whilst we waited for wind to fill in. Eventually, the wind built sufficiently so that we were able to get a single race in. With the wind being very unstable and unpredictable, it was just a case of trying not to take too many risks and get a decent result on the board as a bad result at this stage in the regatta could cost you a medal. I managed to get a result just out of the top 10 which was enough to move up to 5th and remain in touching distance of the medals.

On our final day, we were greeted with big wind and waves, with many ominous black clouds rolling over every 30 minutes, bringing with them big winds and hail. I had a good start but was unlucky on the first beat and found myself having to work my way up the fleet to get a decent result. In our second race, the wind increased considerably causing many sailors to wipeout and a huge pile up at the bottom mark. I was doing really well in the race but unfortunately it was abandoned just just as I was approaching the finish. My final position was 8th overall which I was relatively pleased with. It was a shame that I wasn't able to come away with a medal but equally I thought I performed at my best and so I am really happy about the result.

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