Hi guys,

Yesterday I returned from a 3 week trip around Europe competing at the Under-21 European and World Championships. It certainly was a very memorable trip! Here is the story:

The first part of the trip was the massive drive all the way to Douarnenez, in France, for the Under-21 Europeans. Luckily I went with the rest of the lads in the team van so I only had to drive for a couple of hours. Cheers to Coach Dre and Millsa for driving the rest of the way!

The first part of the trip was the massive drive all the way to Douarnenez, in France, for the Under-21 Europeans. Luckily I went with the rest of the lads in the team van so I only had to drive for a couple of hours. Cheers to Coach Dre and Millsa for driving the rest of the way!

Arriving in Douarnenez late that evening I checked into my hotel - check out this lovely view across the bay from the breakfast room. Perfect for checking out conditions before racing every morning.

Arriving in Douarnenez late that evening I checked into my hotel - check out this lovely view across the bay from the breakfast room. Perfect for checking out conditions before racing every morning.

The view from our room over the surrounding town was very pretty.

The view from our room over the surrounding town was very pretty.

Stunning weather greeted us on our arrival in Douarnenez - for the first few days of training anyway!

Stunning weather greeted us on our arrival in Douarnenez - for the first few days of training anyway!

After a couple of days pre-event training we had a rest day where as a team we went and explored the coastline....

After a couple of days pre-event training we had a rest day where as a team we went and explored the coastline....

...And ended up surfing on a lovely beach just down the coast. Despite it being my first ever time surfing I learnt quickly and had a whale of a time surfing some awesome waves!

...And ended up surfing on a lovely beach just down the coast. Despite it being my first ever time surfing I learnt quickly and had a whale of a time surfing some awesome waves!

We then had a team photo - Alex, Jack, Dan, Dre and I.

We then had a team photo - Alex, Jack, Dan, Dre and I.

The next day racing started with variable conditions and close racing. I was pleased to finish day 1 with a score line of 3 and 1 to be 2nd overall.

The next day racing started with variable conditions and close racing. I was pleased to finish day 1 with a score line of 3 and 1 to be 2nd overall.

After a few more days of racing I went into the final day in 4th overall with a big possibility of a medal.

After a few more days of racing I went into the final day in 4th overall with a big possibility of a medal.

Heartbreakingly some silly errors cost me the chance of a medal and I ended up 4th overall at the U21 Euros.

Heartbreakingly some silly errors cost me the chance of a medal and I ended up 4th overall at the U21 Euros.

The next morning we drove all the way to Nieuwpoort, in Belgium, ready for the start of the Under-21 Worlds a few days later.

The next morning we drove all the way to Nieuwpoort, in Belgium, ready for the start of the Under-21 Worlds a few days later.

After a solid day of driving we arrived in Nieuwpoort to some epic conditions. Sun, wind and waves! We had one day of pre-event training before headin into the competition...

After a solid day of driving we arrived in Nieuwpoort to some epic conditions. Sun, wind and waves! We had one day of pre-event training before headin into the competition...

Day 1 of racing was a mixed bag. Scoring two 3rds in the first two races I was set up well for the last race when a 40 degree shift meant our upwind became rather skewed to one side - I did 0 tacks and somehow got overtaken by 10 boats :(

Day 1 of racing was a mixed bag. Scoring two 3rds in the first two races I was set up well for the last race when a 40 degree shift meant our upwind became rather skewed to one side - I did 0 tacks and somehow got overtaken by 10 boats :(

Determined to improve from the previous days nightmare last race I was focused and ready heading onto the water.

Determined to improve from the previous days nightmare last race I was focused and ready heading onto the water.

Big conditions on the water. I had some good speed but struggled with consistency and had some incidents on the water which set me back.

Big conditions on the water. I had some good speed but struggled with consistency and had some incidents on the water which set me back.

On my way to winning my second ever race at a World Championships!

On my way to winning my second ever race at a World Championships!

We had light winds on the penultimate day and despite attempting a start racing was soon abandoned for the day.

We had light winds on the penultimate day and despite attempting a start racing was soon abandoned for the day.

With a black flag and multiple big scores, I headed into the final day in 12th overall with a strong belief that anything was possible. Scoring a 3rd in the first gold fleet race I moved up to 8th overall. In the final race I had a disastrous first beat and rounded in the 50s but sailed fast and smart to move through the fleet considerably to finish 17th. This comeback pulled me up in the overall results and meant I finsihed 5th overall!

With a black flag and multiple big scores, I headed into the final day in 12th overall with a strong belief that anything was possible. Scoring a 3rd in the first gold fleet race I moved up to 8th overall. In the final race I had a disastrous first beat and rounded in the 50s but sailed fast and smart to move through the fleet considerably to finish 17th. This comeback pulled me up in the overall results and meant I finsihed 5th overall!

Whilst I am very happy to have finished 5th at the Under-21 Worlds what is very exciting is that I know I am capable of so much more. This result has made me more determined than ever to succeed and I know I can achieve greater things. Onwards and upwards!

Whilst I am very happy to have finished 5th at the Under-21 Worlds what is very exciting is that I know I am capable of so much more. This result has made me more determined than ever to succeed and I know I can achieve greater things. Onwards and upwards!

Overall the trip was very successful; I achieved my best ever Under-21 international results, won 5 international races and learnt so many things about my sailing which I have never come across before.

Looking forward I now have a month back home training in Weymouth and attending many smaller, more relaxed events before gearing up to the Laser Senior World Championships in September, to be held in Split, Croatia.

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Sam