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Rogers and Glanfield Olympic 470 Campaign Diary
The past couple of months have gone very well for us, in terms of our preparations for the Olympic Games this August. After our final training camp in Valencia we travelled straight on to Hyeres regatta. Hyeres is a grade 1 event and always gets a large turnout of top quality sailors, this year was no different and everyone hoping to compete in the 470 class at the Olympics was there.
The event was a great opportunity for us to ‘check in’ with our opposition after a long period of training, it was also a chance for us to use our new boat at an event before sending it off to China. There was a big mixture of conditions throughout the week with strong winds at the beginning followed by a period of lighter winds during the second half of the week. It was good to get some strong winds and check our skills had not deteriorated whilst we had been focusing on our light wind sailing, Qingdao is undoubtedly a light wind venue but there is still a high chance we will have at least one day of strong winds at the Olympics. Despite being quite light at the moment and having changed some equipment to favour light winds our boat speed and strategy were good and after two strong wind days or racing we were winning overall. We then went into some light winds and again we had good speed, we had one day that we made our lives hard for ourselves, we had to do a 720 turn on one start and another we thought we were over the line so went back, meaning in both races we were a long way behind the fleet immediately after the start and to do a big recovery. We went into the medal race (non discardable race for top 10) in second position needing to beat the Dutch, Coster brothers by two places in order to win overall. There was a very fickle breeze during the race which made for some tense, unpredictable racing. We positioned ourselves conservatively all the way round and then in a tight downwind to the finish our good speed got us into 1st and with the Dutch in 5th it was enough to give us the gold. This year is all about winning the Olympics, but we were still delighted to win Hyeres and it gave us a lot of confidence with what we are trying to do in training.
After a short break we have spent a lot of time in Hayling Island, U.K. The weather was fantastic, we had light sea breezes most of the week and there was just the right amount of tide to accurately represent what we will get in Qingdao. We competed in a small national event whilst in Hayling Island, there were ten boats competing which means there is plenty of room around the course and puts a high emphasis on boat speed. We struggled to go as fast as the girl’s teams upwind and they were sailing well. A black flag in the penultimate race just about sealed our fate and we finished 2nd one point behind Christina Bassadone/ Saskia Clarke. Despite coming 2nd it was a good experience, the weight advantage they had in light winds was very apparent, something we know will be important in China. In our training we have found in some conditions a 5kg difference in crew weight between boats can result in a clear boat speed advantage. Fortunately for us in the men’s fleet it is us who will have this advantage over most of our competitors. We have trimmed our weight down from the winter following a scientific nutrition program and fitness program and are comfortably on track for our target Olympic weight. We have both been eating very well and feel fit strong and healthy.
Our next event is the 2008 European championships in Lake Garda, it is a great venue and we are looking forward to competing there. After the Europeans it is all about China, we go out for two weeks in July before going back again two weeks prior to the start of racing. We have been to Qingdao to sail every summer since the Athens Olympics and feel very comfortable at the venue. We have two boats going out to China and have to make a few final decisions about equipment whilst we are out there.
Thank you for your continued support.
Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield