After winning the Laser Inlands I have been awfully busy and winter training really has started for me. Have a browse of my diary of the last month or so in the pictures below:
At a very, very cold Rutland Sailing Club for the Laser Inland Championships. Was lucky enough to be given a Volvo V40 for the weekend - a very comfy and powerful drive I must say.
A tricky and typically shifty event, I was lucky to come away with the scoreline I did.
But in the end did manage to bring home the trophy for the second year in a row!! Congrats to the Radial fleet winner Ben Elvin (on the left) and Harvey Leigh (on the right) for winning the 4.7 fleet.
Heading back to Weymouth the next day it thankfully was about 15 degrees warmer and I got straight back into training with the other P3 lads.
One day we were even joined by a friendly dolphin in the harbour. in fact he/she has been sighted many times inside the harbour so we are all wondering if they are trapped or just chosen Portland as their new home?!
Going into some more training with the Youth Squad this time we had a pretty fruity weekend. After sailing for over an hour downwind we turned to look upwind to see this monstrous cloud only a few miles away. I had a bit of a joke and pointed at the cloud when this photo was taken but didn't quite realise what devastation this would actually bring!
15 minutes of a solid 45-50 knots was a pretty big shock to the system but it was great to spice up the training with a few new challenges (hahaha!).
However what these squally clouds did leave behind were some beautiful sunsets for us to look at.
Pleased to announce that I am presenting a new sailing TV series called Head To Wind. Aiming to do cool/crazy challenges on anything water related it should be a great watch so keep your eyes peeled for future episodes and subscribe at rya.org.uk/headtowind
Anyway in the episode above I attempt to pick up bits of plastic in the sea whilst flying on a foiling Waszp. Have a watch and see what you think.
Returning back home I had a new delivery from Sailing Chandlery to keep me well stocked and warm over the winter. At the moment you even get a free hat for any orders over £50 on any products from a clothing firm which rhymes with Bike….
I try and run coaching sessions one weekend a month and this time I was at Hayling Island for the RS Aero Youth Squad training. A fabulously warm weekend with plenty of wind and waves, it was great to see so many boats on the water and I had a blast coaching the top guys in the 7 rigs.
Some of you might have noticed that I now have a new official Sam Whaley Sailing logo. This is mainly to help keep my content branded effectively and more consistently, hope you like it!
With winter sailing in the UK pretty much wrapped up for 2018 we packed up and loaded our boats onto a trailer and set off on the long drive from the UK to Vilamoura, in Portugal.
Why leave the UK for training? Well the milder climate makes it great to get long hours on the water and experience a vast array of different conditions than you might encounter in the typically windy UK winter. Great to learn and develop my skills without the risk of hypothermia!
Unfortunately our ferry journey was far from simple; a huge storm not only meant our progress was significantly slower and bumpier than planned but the ferry had to divert to a different port in Spain - not ideal.
After ageing what felt like 3 years on the ferry we made it to Spain and set off for the long journey down all the way to Portugal.
Luckily our drive was made significantly easier by being able to drive this beast. Honestly is the comfiest, coolest and most relaxing car I have ever driven. The technology inside has a massive wow-factor and she is pretty much self driving meaning you really can relax on long journeys. Volvo V60
After a mammoth drive we arrived in sunny Vilamoura and set about getting ourselves ready for the intense block of 9 days training coming up ahead.
Conditions varied, predominantly windy with sizeable sea state but we also got some light winds to really test our adaptiveness.
Our training camp drew to a close with some serious hours done on the water and on the bike + in the gym. Here I am with team mate Jack Cookson celebrating the end of the camp on a pretty chilled out evening.
So our first block of winter training in Portugal finished and it was then time to fly home to the UK for some rest and recovery.
I fly Ryanair so much I deserve a loyalty card….
The day after getting home I was straight into filming for the latest instalment of Head To Wind, this time a race against a foiling wakeboard. Unfortunately the wind didn't play ball and it was much lighter than forecast which meant I did struggle on the Waszp. I did, however, win the final race to at least keep my dignity intact.
After a few days at home I then flew back to Portugal, where I am now, and am staying until driving back a couple of days before Christmas. Luckily the weather is still relatively good here and we’ve already done two epic days on the water. Fingers crossed the wind stays here until the end of the camp!
Thanks for reading.