And I thought France was all sunshine and good wind…

The highlight of this week has been my trip out to Lorient, sailing with Chris Luekermann, a German Mini sailor, during a weekends training with top French coach Tanguy Le Glatin.

Over the weekend I’ve learnt more about sailing the Mini than my whole time out on Basecamp in Cowes. This has shown me just how important it is to train with other Mini’s and get immersed in the French way.

While out in Lorient I spent a couple of days looking around Lorient and researching what’s available and how everything operates. Including a trip to the maritime museum, talking with Classe Mini and Lorient Grand Large, which is an association set up to help offshore sailors, providing training and day to day help. As I arrived two Nacira’s were being measured, which involved measuring the keel, width of hull, mast height as well flotation tests to test its righting weight. It was fascinating to see how it’s all done, and even though it wasn’t my boat I felt nervous for the other skippers, it will be my turn soon!

Training consisted of speed testing and manoeuvres, comparing obtainable speeds and angles between boats using different sails. The idea was to find out which sail was best suited for the given conditions (no wind) swapping between the genneker, code 5 and grande spi! Saturday we had sub 5 knots all day and torrential rain – it seems it doesn’t just rain in the UK. Sunday was glorious sunshine and varying wind between 3 and 15 knots (dream sailing!).

During my visit to the maritime museum I had to the chance to test out the idea of model boat racing, which is becoming more and more enticing, given the current weather. I’m now definitely hooked on the idea of getting my own, particularly after my upgraded experience to a 1m on a canal. Seemingly my Dad and friend Paul Peggs have a collection of four 1m RC boats (although one currently stuck in a weir)! which they compete in friendly regattas. A perfect excuse I think to invest in my own to join in the racing!!

I’m now sat on the Red Funnel and catching up with the world after my four days away. Looking forward to a day with Spinlock today.