The Hempel World Championship were the event we had been working towards over the past year. Over the course of this Olympic quad, it was the first chance for countries to qualify for Tokyo 2020. Moreover, it was the largest event of the Olympic buildup and the best chance to check in with your competition to see how your skills are getting on. Since we decided after Jr Worlds 2017 that we were going to pursue our Olympic campaign full-time, this was the goal event we had in mind; looking to significantly improve our sailing during the lead up time and put in a solid results performance at this event.
Our skills had consistently been building up throughout the training we had planned over the course of the year, so the target of July was to polish everything off and build up our racing confidence to head into the event, as well as gather knowledge on the racing area. After some tough situation over the past year we had to overcome and several lack-luster events for us, building up our confidence and mental strength was going to be a big part of the final preparation. Participating in lots of practice racing with many of the other nations competing at this event gave us every opportunity to prepare ourselves for the challenge.
The first day was ultimately the key moment of our regatta performance. Our day was highlighted by a capsize while in 4th position, a strong 6th place finish, and a final race finishing 25th. The rest of the event was pre-determined by our drop in confidence and ability to fight back mentally. Without the capsize in the first race, this would have made the difference between sitting 30th overall (knocking at the door of gold fleet and ultimately our goal) versus being back in 65th (fighting to stay out of bronze fleet for another event). Seeing the difference in points this one mistake cost us and looking up at all the places we wanted to climb was a big feet to overcome mentally, and it was something we had not prepared for enough in our campaigning. While our skill set did not change during the event, this moment challenged our mental strength and we reverted back to lower confidence and less thought communication. After this first day and drop in mental strength we simply could not put together a good race and pull ourselves back.
It is frustrating for us to see how far we have developed our skills in training and not be able to implement them into racing because of our mental preparation. It's an area we have heard many past Olympians talk about and this was our moment of realization to just how important it is. Obviously we are gutted with our finish, but with the support of our great coach and family we know we will live to fight another day stronger than before. This event only shows us how far we have come in the short seven months competing full time and what our next big skill focus must be to improve our game. We are headed back home to reflect and prepare to push even harder towards our next goal.
We would truly like to thank everyone on our team for making this past year and event possible. We are happy we have all of you on our side and we have received great support whether our results have been positive or negative. We would like to thank everyone for that; it is what has made us realize the opportunity we have and is the motivation we need to continue to progress towards the games.