Friday, March 30, 2012

Good evening all! Hannah here. So it has been almost three weeks now that we have been in Europe and time has just flown!! We have been in serious head down training mode for most of it, but got a couple days off here and there, where we got to do a bit of sight-seeing and tourist-y stuff.

The first day we had off I used to just walk along the beach in C'an Pastilla and Mallorca. I browsed the shops and when that got old, sat in a cute cafe for some coffee and reading time. It was lovely! Not to mention the coffee here is fantastic, almost as good as Tim Hortons!

That same day happened to be Erin's birthday, so later we went to explore the Cathedral in Palma. It was like stepping back in time, with the old brick buildings, intricate architechture, and most of all stunning stained glass! It was incredible.

After that we went out for a couple drinks and tapas. The food was delicious! Even if it was on our "banned substances" list... Then Bunny took us to an amazing bar that closely resembled a palace. With mulitple floors, a courtyard and grand stairway, half the stuff inside looked like it belonged in a museum, not a bar. I felt quite classy sipping my champagne cocktail, wandering the different floors and rooms of that extrodinary building.

Now we have our first regatta starting in a couple days, the Princess Sofia. But before that we have one more day off that I hope to see more of the island with, possibly explore the caves, go cliff diving, or just hang out and play ping pong and mini golf. Either way it will be a much needed rest before the week-long regatta kicks off.

Thats all for now! We will keep everyone posted with regatta updates!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sunshine in Palma!

Today the forecast was for more wind in the morning so we got all ready for an early day. Got up at 6.30 am, went running at  7 am and then back to the house. Of course the forecast changed, so we did some paperwork before heading down to the harbour.

The change is the SUN returned! This meant the seabreeze would probably come in later. We hit the water just after noon and had a good three and a half hour session in a building sea breeze. Bunny has decided we are maybe ready for marks so we did some short course stuff today. Focused on mark roundings and transitions before and after the marks, before and after tacks and gybes. There is so much to do in the boat a lot of the time you want to tidy up all the ropes etc. right after a maneuver, but of course you need to focus on making the boat going as fast as possible straight away and then once settled make those small adjustments. Our tacks and gybes are becoming a lot more consistent, as is our upwind and downwind technique. Now we just have to remember the key ideas with starts and mark roundings which is the focus of the next few days training.

Hopefully the sun will stay out and the weather will start to warm up, I'm growing tired of wearing the only pair of pants I brought with me!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 4 On the Water

So today was day 4/5 training days. We are sort of settled into a routine. Our bodies are still majorly protesting the running/biking/sailing/biking! Today we had a bit more wind at 15 knots and WAVES! Not majorly huge, but big enough for us as we haven't sailed in any waves yet as a team. It was a challenging day, with some really good moments and some swimming lessons. We had blood in the boat so it was a proper sailing day!

Last night we went into Palma to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with some of the other Canadian sailors. It was good to go into town and see other people (Finn sailors - I don't know how to describe them but they are very large and like beer). We made it home in time for my 10 O'Clock bedtime though!

Tomorrow we are on the water again, and then we have a day off. Then 4 days of sailing, 2 days off, 4 days of sailing, 1 day off, regatta!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Training in Palma

We have been getting settled in Palma and had our second day on the water today. It is sunny and warm during the day and absolutely beautiful. It is still "winter" here though, so the sun goes down at around 7 and it cools off quickly.

We found the Schenker warehouse in Barcelona last weekend and managed to un-pack the boat without any major issues. Bunny arrived Tuesday afternoon and we loaded up the boat and caught the overnight Ferry to Palma!

The Ferry was pretty exciting - they make you do all these sharp corners and then REVERSE down the lane on the ferry so you can drive off at the other side. Easier said than done when you have all random assortments of cars/vans/trucks and sailing people with giant trailers loaded with 470's, 49ers, motorboats etc!
We found our tiny cabin and promptly went to bed.

The ferry got in at 7 am and we drove directly to our rental house. It is in Con Pastilla, which is a different district than where we are sailing which is the Club Nautic Aranel in Aranel. We have a cute 3 bedroom apartment and so far it is great. I did manage to blow a breaker on the first morning and so we had to call the landlord to fix it straight away!

Wednesday we unloaded the boat and started setting up and saying Hi to sailing friends from last summer. Wednesday we got on the water for the first time in 6 weeks and had a good 2 hour session in 5-7 knots and flat water. Today we had a longer session in a dieing gradient wind that was fighting the seabreeze, so it was pretty shifty.

The water is a beautiful blue and the sun has been amazing the past two days. We are trying to get back into a routine with fitness in the morning, then breakfast and then biking to the club (our bums aren't quite used to the cycling yet). Then some boatwork, lunch then on the water. Home for dinner and then internet time and to bed!

We will train here for the rest of the month until the Princess Sofia Cup which begins on March 31st.

Here are some pictures from sailing today.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Arrival in Spain

Hello Supporters! I'm so sorry we have been out of touch. These past few weeks have been incredibly busy with organization etc.

We had two very successful fundraisers in Calgary in February and raised $23,000 towards our campaign costs.Thank you so much to everyone who helped organize, donated items, donated time, and everyone who bought tickets and showed up! It was so great to see everyone come out and support us and also just great to see friends and family we don't get a chance to very often.

We have now begun the final leg of this Olympic campaign. We left Calgary Friday night and flew to Barcelona! We will be in Europe for the next 3 months. We will train in Palma, Spain for a month with many other 470's. Then we will attend the Princess Sofea Cup in Palma (March 31-April 7). Then we will go to Spring Cup in Seyne-Sur-Mer, France (April 12-16) and Hyeres, France for French Sailing Week (April 22-27). We will then return to Barcelona, Spain and train before the 2012 470 World Championships. This is the second and final qualifier for the 2012 Olympics so hopefully all our training will culminate in us winning a berth at the games!

Please follow along on the blog, Facebook etc. We will have more regular updates now and I will hopefully get the main website pages updated very soon.

We have managed to stay awake to a reasonable bed-time hour so off to sleep and hopefully we won't be too jet lagged in the next few days.