2018 World Cup Hyeres
Time for the next World Cup Regatta, this time in beautiful Hyeres, France! Similar to our schedule in Palma, we had a week to train in the venue and then a week of racing. The week of training was really productive, as we alternated between practice races and group training with other countries. We learned some new techniques for the really light air, and also had some fun foiling upwind on a particularly beautiful day! Things were looking pretty good for Team Gibbs/Chafee!
When the regatta rolled around, there was absolutely no wind. We would wait around on shore then wait around on the water for the wind to fill and settle. It resulted in long, hot days: up at 7am and home at 8pm, rinse and repeat for 5 days. The heat and the lack of wind weren’t what held us back from our potential though, it was the pressure. We’d put together a solid 2nd half of Palma, we’d sailed well leading up to the event, so now we expected to do well in Hyeres. We expected to put together an “honest regatta”. But it didn’t happen. Our best starts resulted in our worst races, and our worst starts resulted in our best races. We kept making one big mistake on the race course that would cost us too many boats. Don’t get us wrong, we had our moments of glory: we finished 3, 5, 3, 9 in various races. We finished 3rd in one race with a massive gap between us and the 4th place boat. Clearly, we had the ability to finish in the top pack. We had the skills to be in the medal race, but instead we finished the regatta in 15th place. It was frustrating, there’s not doubt about it, but we learned another valuable lesson: it was time to work on the mental game.