Having had the pleasure of coaching the Australian International Cadet Class team for the past few years, I have at each regatta kept a blog going in order to show the loved ones and followers an insight into our adventures abroad.
Well the team has all arrived in Bruinisse to begin our quest. The Blue chartered boats from Poland arrived on schedule and were met by a few of the parents and unpacked, thanks guys.
They seem very good and a few minor adjustments were for the most part ready the same day.
Our first full day here went well according to plan. We began with finalising the work on the boats and then had our first briefing for the whole group. Basically the contents were about what to expect and to prepare for in the week ahead in terms of cultural change, behaviour expectations and possible distractions.
No big issues here in terms of the cultural change, there are some differences in sailing on the other side of the world, but in what we are doing so much remains the same, we are sailing Cadets in a regatta, nothing new there we haven’t done before! Over the course of our training we will do our best to come to terms with sailing here and after our first day it seems a really nice fair place to have a regatta.
Behavioural expectations are also relatively straight forward, we have never and do not expect to have any issues with the conduct of our entire team. On water we shall race hard but fair and ashore do our best to represent our country, it is a pointless exercise to win races if at the same time you are losing the respect of your competitors. It is also so important to develop a regular daily routine which is adhered to as closely as possible.
Distractions are a bit more difficult with a new country, new and rarely seen old friends are to be enjoyed and appreciated. That aspect is one of the great features of these events and is to be wholeheartedly embraced, but at the same time the regatta comes first and these distractions are not to affect our routine and our purpose.
As always our biggest rival is not the other competitors but ourselves. If we can conquer self doubt, we will be well on the way to a successful event.
Onto our first day on the water, after an early lunch at midday, we left the Bruinisse harbour out through a small gap in the rock wall and headed into Lake Grevelingen. The first impressions were the flat topography which should mean good even breezes. It does get pretty shallow in places with a rocky bottom.
It was a pretty bleak and grey day with soaking rain but a nice breeze. We had a four-hour session doing lots of speed work and generally acclimatising to the conditions. We even had a chance to go for a good old fashioned Aussie hoon with a bit of lively reaching to break the monotony. On the way back in we capsized our boats and left them in water on each side to check for leaks. The wind died away quite quickly as we returned to shore at approximately 4.30. Each day with our training times we will try and emulate our regatta day to get into the aforementioned routine.
Damp and tired, we had a quick pack up and headed home.
Danke Je and catch up soon.