What a month March was! We had everything from the good, to the bad, to the ugly in Palma, but we came away from it with smiles on our faces and many lessons learned. When we arrived on the 3rd of March in Palma we had our shipping container scheduled to arrive the 4th so we could get straight into setting up. Long story short the container did not arrive until the 4th of April; two days into the regatta and officially one month late. Obviously this was a huge setback and stressor, but with the help of many people we were able to locate 3 different charter boats and only happened to miss about 3 days of scheduled training.
Conditions in Palma were not typical of the time of year; it was much colder than usual, affecting the standard sea breeze. We experienced many days of no breeze or fresh-to-frightening conditions with high winds and steep waves. As we progressed through our month of training, we began to focus more and more on starting, an area critical to a good performance when racing and something our coach noticed we were lacking. Many of the days we worked on starting drills with our training partners, then would move into joining the racing held by the other nations training there. If the breeze began to pick up intensely we then changed our focus back to boat handling with more open drills. These areas of focus clearly paid off as our performance at the Princesa Sofia Trophy was our best result to date in an open age group, placing 46 of 91 (right at mid fleet). The starting drills helped us significantly off the line marking our first tactical decisions much easier and putting us in a better position at the first mark. Also, the many days of practice racing gave us a much better idea of fleet management and positioning so we weren't giving up distance at mark roundings. Our biggest issue of the event was our boat speed, which we are boiling down to a combination of lack of technique as well as the poor equipment we used since we were missing our container of gear. Despite the setbacks we are very pleased with what came out of the month. We know what areas we will continue to work on and are excited to see more progression towards our next event. We just arrived in France for the third stop of the Sailing World Cup, starting at the end of April. Hopefully the progress and beautiful weather keeps up because we have been enjoying every bit of this momentum so far.