Toronto was quite a contrast to seemingly tranquil Halifax. A big city, with all the hustle and bustle. The yacht club was based in down town Toronto so the action was never far away. I had a couple of days to set the boat up and squeeze in a bit of sightseeing before Ian (my coach) joined me from Istanbul, where he had been coaching Ben Ainslie and his team in the Extreme 40.
The training conditions were really light, but we managed to get the best out of the days and tick the boxes we wanted. However on Sunday with flat calm conditions we decided to accept there was not going to be any sailing and took advantage to do some sight seeing and go up the CN Tower and treat ourselves to a very nice lunch in the revolving restaurant.
After an intial postponement on the first day, due to lack of winds, we had around 8-10 knots most days with a little more towards the end of the week.
I had what could be described as a bit of a slow start to the regatta, with decidedly average results, but pulled my socks up in the second half to move into a comftable second overall going into the last day, with Stellan Berlin leading and Bjørnar Erkstad in 3rd.
We don’t normally have two discards in a regatta, but two were planned for this Championship with the second one counting after 10 races. With 3 races planned on the last day and the second discard coming in after the second race of the day, it was going to make keeping track of the points and scores really quite tricky. After my mathematical blunder last year costing me the Championship title, I decided to leave the maths and scores to Ian. My results had been really consistent with nothing worse than an 8th, however Stellan and Bjørnar had much bigger discards which was going to make the maths a little tricky.
After the first race of the day, with Stellan getting himself OCS I had moved into first.
However with the second discard about to come in after the next race things could all change. Stellan lead at the final top mark with me just behind in a comftable second. Bjørnar was third but with a pack snapping at his heels. Everything was fine, until we got near the bottom of the run, I had gybed over to keep a cover on Bjørnar who had gybed at the top to separate from the pack going high. Some how I got sucked into the dirty air of the pack behind while Bjørnar found a bit of extra pressure and rapidly closed the gap.
It was a photo finish with Bjørnar pipping me on the line. At this point I was confused at to whether I was second overall or third knowing that Bjørnar had a worse discard. Ian was no help as he had got himself really confused with the discards and thought I was 4th.The race committee decided no more racing for the day as a front was approaching, so I had a long sail in trying to crunch numbers in my head. I was certain I was either 3rd or 2nd. Ian was full of smiles on the dock confirming I was third, I was gutted realising I had lost second on the line! Took a couple of beers before I cheered up and as he pointed out if I had sailed as well as I had at the end of week, at the beginning I could have won. Also without the second discard it would have been a different story.
Anyway Stellan sailed a brilliant regatta to take his 8th World title and if I was going to be beaten by anyone for Silver, I couldn’t think of a nicer person and greater sailor than Bjørnar.
So with the summer over and the major regattas raced, it’s back to training now with a trip to Rio in just under two weeks time! The plan after that is to brave the British winter in December and train in Weymouth with some sunshine planned in January in Miami.