The great thing about sports is that if you don’t perform when it matters, you won’t win. I guess that’s true for most things in life. This week, I competed at the Canadian youth Nationals in Kingston, Ontario. This was my peak event of the year, as well as my opportunity to qualify for the ISAF Youth Worlds. Unfortunately, I didn’t perform, and I didn’t win. Actually, I did a lot worse than not winning; I didn’t even make the gold fleet. (For those of you unfamiliar with sailing, the first two days of the regatta are “qualifying” and the second two days are “finals.” For the finals, the fleet in divided into gold, silver, and bronze fleets based on the results from the qualifying days. Once this split is made, you can’t move between different fleets. This means that once I was in silver fleet, the best overall result I could get was 58th.)
I started the regatta off badly with a starting mistake in race 1 that I was not able to recover from. Then, in race 2, I was a little excited, pulled the trigger a little too early and was disqualified for starting early. Fortunately, and this is one of the biggest positives coming out of this regatta, I was able to overcome the stress and frustrations from my early mistakes and have two good races. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get me into the gold fleet.
It’s really important for me to take responsibility for my mistakes. It wasn’t bad luck. Nobody else is to blame. I didn’t execute the things that I needed to execute and I paid the price. This is something that I love about competitive sports. When you’re out on the water, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed or fail. It doesn’t matter if you are “expected to win” or if you are a “favourite.” If you don’t perform when it matters, you won’t win.
Obviously, I wanted to win. Obviously, I’m disappointed that I didn’t – that goes without saying. What I can say, is that I am really excited for what is ahead, and I can’t wait for my next opportunity to correct my mistakes and prove to myself and everyone else what I’m capable of. Usually, after a peak event like this, that opportunity would be months in the future. In this case, it’s soon. Really soon. Actually, it’s tomorrow. The Laser Class Radial Youth Worlds start tomorrow (Saturday) here in Kingston and I’m super excited to have this opportunity to go out and try to perform.
Before I end this update, there are just two more things that I need to say. First, I want to recognize my training partner and competitor Matti Muru for the awesome regatta that he sailed this week. He earned that spot on the ISAF Youth Worlds team and I’m sure he will do a great job representing Canada in Malaysia this December. Second, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been getting from everyone as I’ve been going through this loss. It really means a lot.
Thanks for reading and until next week,