Morris, Eyes on A Gold Medal

Louis Morris is off to the Raceboard World Championships very soon, and stands a very good chance of doing pretty well. Boards will, very soon, have a whole run down of the Champs from Louis, but for now we’ll catch up with him via his blog:

Louis Morris
Louis Morris

It’s been a while since my last post, I’ve been pretty busy.

I’ve started my year in industry placement at Sasol in St Andrews now, which means working 5 days a week full time, eek! It’s interesting work though, I’m enjoying being a researcher, which obviously is something I’ve never done before.

I’m really excited to be going to the Raceboard world championships in a couple of weeks. It’ll be my first international competition since the Techno worlds in 2009 at Weymouth. Back then my best conditions were 15-25 knots, which is what we had most of the time, but I messed up every start and got 38th under 17 boy, I was pleased to get gold fleet though, and just loved sailing in windy conditions all week!

Now I’m only about 6 or 7 kilos heavier than I was then, I’m on a 9.5 sail and my best conditions are 8-15 knots, just as well the Raceboard worlds are at a light wind venue! They are at Pavlov, Nove Mlyny reseviour in the south of the Czech republic. Actually, I never used to sailed in really light winds, so I’ve been working on that as much as possible, so that I feel confident in those conditions as well as the marginal stuff.

In light and marginal conditions, it gets very hard work with lots of pumping, so I’ve been trying to get fit on my bike as well as getting on the water in light winds. It hasn’t been particularly windy since I moved to Scotland, so I’ve been practicing quite a lot. I’ve been going for a bike ride around the countryside of Fife or windsurfing after work every day.

I’ve been missing wave sailing with all this light wind training, but a couple of weeks ago a bit of a swell was forecast with some south wind. Getting a ferry to Tiree would have meant missing the best conditions on Saturday morning, so I drove to Machrihanish and was on the water by 8am. It was pretty difficult conditions, with the waves peaking all over the place on the various sand banks of the beach (there is virtually no tidal range there for some reason), and the gusty wind a little bit onshore rather than cross shore as I expected. It was still good fun to get out in some waves again though, there was an hour of full power 5.0, several more hours of underpowered 5.0, and some head high sets. The conditions didn’t look so good on Sunday and the Scottish bank holiday Monday, so I spend the rest of the long weekend hill walking.

Right now I’m finalising arrangements with Paul Wright, who I’m travelling to the contest with. It’s all very exciting. I feel much more ready than I did a few months ago, but it’s quite difficult to gauge how I’m doing. I knew I was fast compared to the rest of the UK fleet in marginal and medium winds, but I still feel a little uncomfortable in the really light stuff. I’ve certainly improved a lot; I’ve just got to stay focussed and pump like crazy!

Next weekend is UKWA Cup 4 at Pwllheli in north Wales, looking forward to getting back on the race course, it’ll be a good warm up for the worlds, which start the week after. I’ll have a lot of driving in between though!

Stay tuned for my updates from Pwllheli. I also hope to give a daily update from the Czech Republic here and probably on boards.co.uk as well.

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