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  • Sarah Douglas

Kieler Woche

I have just returned from another euro trip. This summer, I am spending a lot of time in Europe preparing for the World Championships at the end of August in Medemblik, Holland. This trip entailed a 5 day training camp and Kieler Woche Regatta. The 5 days on the water before the regatta were very productive and came with a variety of conditions and sunny warm weather. This event, we paired up with the US (Erika Reineke and her coach Steve Mitchel)

This was my first time to Germany and first time competing at Kieler Woche. This event was held at the 1972 Olympic venue which is pretty cool, it is one of the biggest sailing events in the world and has so many classes of boats competing and a high calibre of sailors from around the world. The event also entails a full festival both downtown Kiel and at the sailing center. Lots of sponsor tents, food and live music creating a great atmosphere. As racing began, I started off the event with a BFD (false start) and a poor score which was definitely not ideal. The second day of racing was postponed due to severe thunderstorms and then lack of wind which resulted in no races. The third day was the final day of qualifiers and 3 races were scheduled, it was a "do-or-die" day for me as I needed to secure a place in Gold Fleet. I fought hard in the windy conditions (20knots) to get a 4, 5, 6 which moved me up to 18th overall. Due to no races on Day 2, there was only 1 day of the final series and I was looking at getting into the medal race (top 10) as I was only 10 points out. The final series was another windy storm driven day which made it for challenging racing. I had a great start in the first race and was 10th to the top mark, but unfortunately was fouled at the top mark. I was about to round windward mark, when another boat caught my mainsheet as she was trying to duck me and forced me in to the mark and I lost 15 boats in what seemed like a blink of an eye as I had to gybe around and duck all the boats on starboard. These types of incidents happen, and are out of my control. The other boat did their penalty turns, but nothing else could have been done except for me to fight my way back into the race, I was able to finish 16th despite it all. The second race had huge pressure differences and I went from Top 10 to bottom 10 in one downwind leg and tried to fight my way back but the damage was irreparable. The last race of the day I finished 9th. Although I fought hard, it wasn't enough to advance to the medal race and I finished 17th overall of 70 and top Canadian. Here are results

I am now back in Toronto recovering, hitting the gym and going to do a couple of sessions on the water in Toronto before heading to the Gorge in Portland for a short heavy wind training camp with my coach Vaughn Harrison and the International Sailing Academy. Stay Tuned.