It’s about time to tell you a bit about this year’s European Championships in La Rochelle, France. In short, it was my best regatta in recent years – 41st place. And I don’t actually even mean the result itself, but I could see progress, and I was enjoying myself!
We had three days of qualifying races and on the second day I managed to hit my knee really badly on the water while capsizing. I sailed one race in a lot of pain and couldn’t even tack by the time they started the second race. I decided to go ashore, knowing this might destroy my chances of getting into the gold fleet. But I also knew it wasn’t worth just cruising through another race since that wouldn’t get me into gold anyways. I ended up five places out of gold which was actually a big improvement since Palma.
For the first time I didn’t feel disappointed about being in silver fleet. Okay, not exactly. I was disappointed, at first. Probably because I couldn’t wait to prove that I have what it takes and I am a good enough sailor. But after the first day in the silver fleet I was sincerely happy. I finished both races in top ten. Like whoa! I hadn’t done that in years! And the next day I won one race!! I made a silly mistake in the last beat in that race, but I managed to keep my first place. I was so damn happy and laughing my heart out about almost losing it. I felt the reason why I’m doing this – joy! If there’s no joy there’s no point!
I have to say a huge thank you to my coach who was exactly what I needed him to be. He told me what I needed to hear. Thanks to him, I was happy, every day. He kept me focused on the positive parts and improvements. And this, actually, made me analyse myself and my mistakes more. I could see the things that needed to improve, but I didn’t dwell on those. He taught me to accept where I am right now, cherish every step forward, no matter how small and most importantly, to just have fun! Thank you Sailing Academy! This is just the beginning!