Well, this country is turning into our second home. It’s only been three and a half weeks since we were last here in the Portuguese countryside, but this time the focus is very different.
We’re here in preparation for our biggest internal test of the year, final trials. It’s the last chance to put down a marker within the team, and for those yet to break into the group it’s a chance to do just that. This part of the season is intense and undoubtably my least favourite time of the year but it’s necessary and is the obvious end to our winter. Once these trials are over, the data that the coaches have collected over the past 6 months is complete and from this, the international racing crews are formed.
This year I’ll be racing in a pair again with Moe Sbihi. We managed to win the trial last year but of course as ever, there’s no guarantee, we are part of a very strong team. Last year at the world championships 22 out of 24 men came away with world championship medals either silver or gold in colour which was an unprecedented result. The team is in good health, training has gone well throughout the winter which has given ourselves the best opportunity to repeat or improve on last year’s world championship performances. Of course the greater the success the more of a target you become and as we are constantly reminded, the world will not stand still.
For now, out here in Portugal however it’s all about each other. In one week I’m going to be racing my friends, guys I see every day of the year, who I enjoy being around and ultimately who I want to see doing well. But I need to beat them to make sure I’m doing my job properly. Moe and I will be focussed on making our boat run as fast as we possibly can, if we do that and come out on top then we will be happy.