Update from Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh


Olympic hopefuls, Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh, offer us their latest news:

We are just coming up to a week at home now after returning from our World Championships and I am just starting to feel like I am getting some energy back! It is crazy how, although during the event I felt good and energized, when you finally stop you realise quite how much you had been building up to the event over the last months and how much energy that does actually take out of you.

The Worlds was the most important event yet for me in the Nacra and for Walshy and I as a team. For funding and also to qualify for the national spot at the Rio Olympics, it was important we put in a solid performance relative to the other Nations but also within the British team.  Since June we had been back and forth training at Santander, getting used to the waters and the techniques we may have to use on the large swell and light winds we often saw there. While Walshy was out injured we were also setting up a brand new boat to use at the Worlds which we were tweaking for that venue.  Of course, come race time the north-easterly we had been experiencing day in day out was nowhere to be seen and all we had for much of the  week was southerlies which meant an average of 15 knots and flat seas......there goes all that effort collecting info on the venue and the phrase of  'it’s not normally like this' returns!

The change in the breeze over the week led to quite a lot of waiting around to sail in many classes, particularly ours. Rather than the 2-3 races per day scheduled for the first few days, by day four one of our fleets had only done one race and our fleet had only done two races....not ideal! It was a mixed start for us, a terrible first race after ending up attached to the start boat led on to a 3rd in the next race and with all the waiting around it was hard to keep the momentum of the event going. Luckily the conditions in the second half of the week improved immensely and with the race committee getting a couple of days of 3-4 races per fleet in we were starting to get back on track.

For us the event was becoming quite frustrating. We were sailing well, making good tactical decisions and taking places at every mark rounding, however we were not quick enough to be in tight situations or lanes and come out well from it.  When we got a good start we were quickly rolled and having to tack out into clear breeze.....quite frustrating considering our time spent in the venue adapting to the expected conditions, but a good reminder to not put all your eggs in one basket in the run up to events.  

Despite our lack of speed our solid sailing otherwise meant we were still there or there about and only needing a few good results to pick us back up the points table. A 7th and a 1st to finish with on the penultimate day of finals racing did just that and moved us into 10th overall. The final day of fleet racing did not look too promising for quite a while. The breeze was back to a more 'normal' direction but it was super light. After some drifting around the race committee did manage to start a race and although I don't normally get too nervous, with our current position being 10th and this race feeling like it could be the only one of the day, it did feel like it was a bit do or die to make sure we made it through in the top 10 to the medal race. Luckily a good start and speed led to a very comfortable 2nd in that race and meant we moved up to 7th overall, well in the mix for the medal race the following day.

The City of Santander put on an awesome event over the week and the final day was no different with huge crowds turning out to watch the racing inside the harbour so there was a great atmosphere around the boat park. We had all to play for and not too much to lose going into our race. We had a great start but soon stopped in no breeze and the race continued to be snakes and ladders from there with us finally crossing the line in 6th to maintain our 7th overall position.

All in all a tough week and maybe why only now do I feel like my energy is returning! Although I'm frustrated we weren't quick and able to change that as the week went on, I'm proud of how Walshy and I turned our event around and ended up in 7th and first British boat. I'm especially pleased when I think of the fact it was only two months ago we were unsure if Walshy was going to be able to sail the Worlds after the injury to his arm at the Europeans! Quite a turn around and huge thanks to everyone that helped made that happen.

We have a lot of work to do this winter, the Worlds only confirmed that. There are so many areas that we can't wait to get stuck into and improve on, some we have already worked on a bit, others we have previously had to push to one side and wait until we have more time...that time has now come! This winter we will be mostly training through to next Spring except for two other events, one in Abu Dhabi for the ISAF Grand Final and the second in Miami for the first World Cup event of 2015. We are really enjoying our campaign  and are looking forward to aiming for the medals next year. A huge thanks to everyone for the support this season, we couldn't do it without you!

Lucy and Walshy