Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Miami Summary

I'm now back from Miami in sunny Weymouth. I'd been getting loads of reports about how bad the weather has been whilst away, so it looks like we've got lucky!

Miami was a long haul that went well. The US Midwinters and the OCR were forming part of the 2.4 trials for the Beijing/Qingdao Paralympics in September so we went out early. The Midwinters were won by Helena Lucas, with Megan Pascoe in third on equal points with Stellan Berlin, an able bodied 2.4 sailor from Sweden who is a multiple Open Worlds winner. So a good first regatta for the team. Then in the OCR Helena was 4th (3rd in Paralympic fleet) and Megan was 7th(4th Para). We await the official selection announcement this week.

Coaching at a trials with two such good sailors is very hard. One will come home happy the other very upset. I guess it shows the talent in the UK when we are faced with the fact that we have two of the best Paralympic sailors in the World, and only one will go to the Games. It is a sad fact about our sport. I remember before Sydney the top two Tornado helms in the World were the Austrian Hagara brothers, and yet only one got to the Games, and he won Gold.

This year in Miami seems to have been a good one for catching up with sailing friends from so many areas. I caught up with Dave Perry, Mark Strube, Andrew Lewis, and Mal Parker who were all at Victory Challenge. Mischa Heemskerk who was our Dutch Tornado tuning partner was out seeing his American girlfriend and sailing a Hobie Tiger. Stan Schreyer another Tornado mate from a few years back was actually coaching an American skud team. Susan Veal, sister of a Moth sailor a few people may have heard of was also passing though on route to Key West, so we met up on South Beach. It is a small sailing World as Susan was off to sail a Melges 24 with my old Tornado Helm, Hugh Styles. It was also good to meet Brad Funk, and Bora Gulari, two new America Moth sailors. Just a shame I never managed to properly get out on the water with Brad as he dived off to the Laser Worlds.

I arrived back into Heathrow to be picked up in style by Ben from Carbonology who'd beed good enough to delivery my car and boat to the airport for me after they looked after my boat following its London boat show Marlow display. We got a lot of funny looks driving the Moth trailer round Heathrow, and I had one guy pull up alongside, signal to wind my window down, and proceded to ask loads of questions about the boat!

Over the next few days I'll try and shake off the jet lag, and might go for a spot of Moth sailing while the weather is nice!

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