There are several reasons as to why I love sailing as a sport, but one of the main ones is simply the process of acquiring new skills. I like to be able to set out objectives and work out how to achieve them. These objectives are never results based, as I can't control the performance of other sailors. But I can try to improve my own skills. As an aside, one of the reasons that I don't windsurf so much any more is that I'd started to top out on the learning curve, I wasn't going to get much better (plus the number of tweaks to my ankles through learning to Vulcan made me think that injury was a serious possibility - you need to be young and bendy to do that stuff!).
So here are the themes for 2013:
1. Heavy wind sailing, specifically downwind.
Lots to do here, but watch this space for a Steve Cockerill critique. Anything up to a Force 4/5 is fine, but I can't wait to be able to look forward to a wavy downwind leg in a F5+. Until last week I thought the problem with this particular objective is that you need strong winds to practice - not so says Mr C, 10-12 knots is adequate!
Several races over the past three months have highlighted a lack of fitness. If I were to do a Nationals now I'd be uncompetitive after the first race. So a focus on fitness through 2013 is definitely on the cards. I might even have to join Mike and Claire in circuit training.
3. Fleet racing.
When I first bought the 300, the general plan was to spend 2 years learning to sail the boat, and then try some open meetings. The 2 years are up, and I'm getting on OK with the boat in most conditions, so time to get fleet racing. The objective will be to learn more about the boat and to work out what needs to change to improve position in fleet. No objectives on fleet position, I can only influence my own performance, not that of other sailors.
Seek help in improving technique wherever possible.
These need to translate into a plan but I've not done that yet, other than to mark the 300 Winter Championships on the 2013 calendar (if its not on the calendar, it doesn't happen in our house). And to get a pass out on New Years day for a sail out of Slipper if anyone fancies it.