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Anna and Rosie Watkins: Summer Update Anna and Rosie Watkins: Summer Update

Weve had an awesome summer competing in the 420.

After the French nationals we had a week of rest (and sailing in the osprey nationals!) followed by the local youth week at Parkstone yacht club with about ten classes and over 300 sailors. This was really useful to use as a week of training to polish up our boat handling, just to get more time on the water and its a really fun week. We won seven out of the eleven races meaning we won overall for the second year running and we felt our boat handling had improved significantly and certainly become moreconsistent.

After youth week Anna did a day of Cowes week sailing on an Elan 410and then it was back to focusing on the 420 in preparation for the nationals. We spent a day in the boat park cleaning the boat as well as filling a few chips in the centre board and checking over all our sheets so that nothing would break at the nationals. After youth week as a warm up event and a promising result in the practice race whilst getting to know the waters of Torbay followed by a final check and polish of the boat we felt well prepared for the nationals which were to begin the next day.

There was a good turnout for the Curra dinghy 2012 Nationals, at the Royal Torbay Yacht club, with over 50 including youth squad coach Neil Marsden and 470 European Champion Sophie Ainsworth. Having checked out thecompetitionAnna and I decided to aim for a top 20 position feeling this would be a pleasing achievement. Our first day was fairly light and shifty (not our favorite conditions!) but we seemed to have good boat speed teamed with a good start we were pleased to get a top twenty position in the second race. Our other two races where not quite so good getting a 25th and a 31st due to just not getting in phase with the shifts and making a few silly decisions at markroundingbut we were still positive for the rest of the week.

The second day started with such light winds that there was a two hour postponement but after this the wind built to a steady 8-10ktsfor the first out of three races and then continued to build enough for the O flag to be displayed for the last two races of the day. With this wesecuredthree more top twenty results.

Day three was very similar conditions to the previous day but unfortunately less consistent results for us including a disqualification due to an incident at the pin end boat. We did however manage to pick up our best result of the week in the final raceachievingan 11th. Thursday was our worst day starting off with a 720 on the start line 10 seconds after the start and having already discussed with our coach that today would be a good start and boat speed day this not bode well. We did finish the day with a top twenty result so this raised our spirits. The last day was expected to be extremely windy but this was not reality for the first race however we managed to secure another top twenty result in extremely shifty conditions.

The final race was our most eventful of the regatta with really strong winds at one point reaching up to nearly 30kts. We had an awesome first beat rounding the windward mark in second; we lost a few places to some larger boy crews but were still first all girl boat by quite a way. Our second beat we stayed in this position but down the second run we weren't in hind sight sitting far back enough for the conditions (we have since learnt that the crew can sitbehindthe traveler bar in such wavy conditions) and therefore suffered a nastypitch-poleand capsize with our kite up. We ended up 24th overall which was slightly frustrating but we had achieved seven top twenty results and just needed to be moreconsistent. Once again thanks to Allen for their support, the hardware was reliable and performed well in a wide range of conditions giving us the confidence to push hard when we needed to.

Rosie and Anna

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