July 23-30, 2016
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
"The 2016 ILCA Radial Youths Worlds were held in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, just outside of Dublin. I arrived two days before the start of racing to get tuned into the conditions. The racing was held on Dublin Bay, which is an infamously tricky venue. It was classic European racing with a lot of boats and long, cold, often rainy days on the water. Heading into the event I knew that long championships such as this one are grueling, and it’s very important to insure that you have the right gear for the job."
"Day one set the tone for the regatta with a fickle breeze of 5-11 knots. It was about 66 degrees with showers on and off. Not knowing what to expect, I layered a Zhik Z skin Hybrid top with a Zhik Titanium top. This allowed me to shed and add layers as I saw fit to keep at a perfect temperature. In events with multiple fleets, if you’re fortunate to have a coach on the water with you, I find it extremely helpful to wear a foul-weather jacket over my sailing gear before and between races. This allows me to stay warm when my heart rate is down and not over heat once I get working. Without this technique it is near impossible to always be at a good temperature. The race committee was able to get the first race off on time, which I managed to win, rounding in second and taking control in the top reach leg. Soon after our finish the wind shifted and the race committee was forced to postpone. These moments are some of the easiest to take an advantage over your competitors. In a two-hour delay when it is cold and wet, if you have the proper gear, you’re going to be more relaxed and ready to race."
"Day four called for a chilly northerly and about 20 knots. I was expecting a cold and wet day on the water so I wore a Zhik Superwarm Top, which was a lifesaver. It kept me warm without the mobility sacrifices that plagued the last version of the Superwarm. The northerly direction turned out to be a very unstable, coming directly over the land. After a bad windward mark rounding in race one, I battled back for a 13, which was less than ideal. I knew that I had to put down two good scores so that I could discard my 13th. In the next two races I was feeling great and found good form scoring a 5,1. This put me 14 points ahead heading into gold fleet and the last three races of the event."
"Day five was a classic example of why you’ve got to be prepared for any conditions. To everyone’s surprise it was dead calm and hot. Keeping cool became the priority. Because the morning was cold I had layered a Zhik Titanium top over a Zhik spandex rash guard. When the day heated up, I shed the top and stayed cool and hydrated through a long six-hour wait with no racing."
"This brought me into the final day of the event with only three races between the world title and me. I wore my favorite kit that I always feel comfortable in: Zhik v2 Microfleece skiff suit with v2 Powerpads and a Titanium top. It was tough sailing, with big wind shifts and pressure differences as well as all the best sailors together for the first time in the event. My first race was a shocker. I was deep in the pack and I knew that I’d have to drop it if I wanted to win the championship. I reset and put the previous race out of my mind. I had to finish in the top 24 if I wanted a shot at winning the world title. I rounded the windward mark in about 40th, thinking it was lost. I kept battling, though, and had caught up to 28th by the second windward mark. This meant I needed to pass four boats to stay in contention. I had the downwind of my life, passing eight boats and keeping my hopes alive."