Thought you might like to read my recent interview with world-famed roving sailing reporter Buff Staysail. He caught me earlier today, not long after I had completed sailing a regatta in the online sailing simulator SailX.
How does it feel to win the gold medal at the last SailX Euro Regatta of 2009?
I'm very pleased with my overall result, and am looking forward to repeating on my success in the 2010 SailX season. Going into the event my goal was not make any fouls and hopefully to finish in the top ten, so the win exceeded my expectations. I've been training hard over the past couple of weeks by ignoring real sailing and practicing on my computer at least an hour a day so it feels rewarding to see all of my work pay off.
What were your strengths in this regatta? What were the keys to your success?
I think I did a good job of processing the conditions and making quick decisions. Some races the current was the major factor; some times it was the shifts; some times the gusts. Having good starts also helped me, as I had the freedom to go where I wanted. I aced the start in the first of the two Laser races and went on to win the race in spite of pressure all round the course from Spanked1. That gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the regatta... especially for the four races in cats and skiffs in which I'm less experienced.
What were your challenges?
Racing at 3pm was tough for me as my mind is usually much sharper in the morning. It was also stressful racing against such good sailors as 249, paulprotocol and Blackdog824 currently ranked 3rd, 16th and 23rd in the world respectively. The young Peruvian 249 won three of the six races... but he also had to count a 15th which hurt his overall score. Going into the final race in skiffs I knew I had to put two boats between me and the cat sailor from Colorado paulprotocol. I just did it, but only after a thrilling tussle on the last downwind leg with Blackdog24 from Toronto. I beat him by three pixels and took the regatta by one point.
How were the conditions in Lisboa?
Excellent. It was snowing outside at home but we had sunshine and winds between 10 and 20 knots in all the races, with none of the crazy strong stuff that always makes me capsize in skiffs.
Anything you would do differently?
Yes, I need to keep my head out of the computer and be more aware of what's going on in the house. Just as the regatta finished I heard the garage door open and assumed it was Tillerwoman going out to shovel snow off the drive, so I went out to help her. But I was wrong. It was Tillerwoman coming in after shoveling the whole drive on her own. Now I'm in the doghouse. What a way to start the new year!