In September 2012 I took the big step of becoming a full time sailor which coincided with becoming a member of the British Sailing Team. This means lots of sailing, fitness training in the gym and on the road bike and attending training camps with the rest of the team. During the racing season I spend lots of time travelling to international events - and subsequently eating many airport breakfasts! Sailing the Finn is very physically demanding so a typical non-sailing training day involves time on the bike for cardiovascular training and a weights session in the gym. I also strictly control my diet which is a very important factor to ensure I have enough energy to train!
The 2013 season has been my busiest year of racing yet. I started off with two very sunny ISAF World Cup events in Palma, Spain and Hyeres, France with solid results. The weather then went gradually downhill as the season progressed! I travelled from Italy to Holland, then the UK and finally to Germany for the EUROSAF Champions Cup. I am currently ranked 13th (joint on points with 10th) overall in this series with the last event in La Rochelle next week. Unfortunately, despite some great pre-event training we were plagued with very light winds for both the Europeans in Germany and the Worlds in Estonia; we lost 5 days of racing over the two events to no wind. I finished the 2013 season with a 50th at the World Championships and with an ISAF World Ranking of 44th.
With only two international events and three UK National Ranking Events left before Christmas I am already solidly into my winter training. This involves lots of cardio on the bike, gym sessions and specific hiking bench training which simulates the loads when sailing. I will also be taking part in British Sailing Team training camps and some key events next year leading up to the ISAF Worlds in Santander where I am aiming for a top 25 result. At present I am also looking for financial and kit sponsor to help me take my campaign further as all the travelling, sailing and maintaining the boats to high level is very difficult on a tight budget.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my campaign, if you are interested in finding out more and would like to follow my Olympic campaign further my twitter feed is @GBR18 and my website is www.jameshaddensailing.com. I'll also be adding more blogs to the Little Ship Club website throughout the winter and next year's events.
Thanks for reading, hopefully I will see you around the club soon,