My first World Championships was held at the Al-Mussanah Sports City, 100km north of Muscat, Oman. The resort-style venue was an incredible place to eat, live and train with beautiful weather and consistent breeze. On the days off, we were able to explore the close surroundings, go snorkling at nearby islands, and engage with the locals.
The event started well, putting up solid results in the windy qualifying days, but a DSQ and a couple bad races kept me out of the Gold fleet for the Final Series races. I was punching off the line quite well, and had good boat speed upwind through the chop. As well, I was happy with my windward mark approaches – always making gains and minimizing major mistakes.
I felt that I moved consistently through the fleet when the shifts were oscillating, but sometimes did not react properly to a persistent shift/puff by jumping ship and going to the other side of the course. This caused some horrendous races which were hard to come back from. Additionally, I need to work on speed in light/medium conditions, especially in flat water.
One deathly harsh lesson I learned is… do your 720s. The whole thing. After getting flagged off one qualifying race start, I started my spin with a gybe instead of a tack like I normally do upwind. Since I was used to ending my upwind 720s with a gybe, I finished my second spin after only a gybe, meaning I missed the last tack from port to starboard. I ended up catching up a ton and having a good race actually, but was DSQd for not completing my two spins. It need not be said I will never make this blunder again.
Transitioning from smaller North American events to the Laser World’s is not an easy task, but I was happy with most starts and breezy boat speed. Looking forward, I need to work on light air boat speed, starting right at the favourite end, and recognition of persistent shifts. Next up, training in Florida before 2014 Miami OCR.