Southeast Sailboats sponsored sailor Matilda Nicholls has just completed first senior world championships and this is what she has to say both about the event and moving forwards into 2022.
“Wow what an incredible week at my very first Senior ILCA 6 World Championships! We sailed off the coast of Oman and were hosted by an incredible hotel with the boat park practically in its back garden. We had a couple days of training before the competition started to get into the conditions and ensure our charter boats were all set up nicely. A special thank you to Southeast Sailboats for the excellent rigging that is super easy to take from event to event and set up on the charter boats! We also managed to have a pretty cool day off before racing started in the nearby city, Muscat. We were able to have a look inside the Grand Mosque and explored around the Mutrah Souq which is a big market in the city. It is always really great when we get a chance to explore the culture and traditions of these countries we get to visit for our competitions!
Racing was due to kick off the next day but unfortunately, we did not manage any races as the wind did not fill in enough. Day 2 and the Women’s fleet was very eager to get going and after a couple general recalls we were off! We managed to get 3 races in before it got dark, and I was sitting in 20th after our first day of racing. The rest of the week we had similar conditions with 6-10kts every day and sailing until sunset to make sure we got some good and fair races in. Ahead of the final day I was sitting in 9th place at my first Senior Worlds which was incredibly exciting after I managed to string together a consistent set of results in the tricky light conditions. On the last day I was a little too line shy due after picking up too many Black Flags at previous events this year which made my last 2 races quite tough. But I still managed to finish the week of in 15th place overall which I couldn’t be happier with and felt super proud to make a mark in the Senior Women’s fleet. Emma Plasschaert from Belgium showed us her strong and high level of experience in the ILCA 6 Fleet by sailing a consistent week and winning the 2021 Worlds!
I am absolutely loving sailing at the moment and am trying my best to also balance my Psychology degree at the University of Exeter. The Worlds in Oman was a very motivating week watching and competing against the top ILCA 6 Women. I am now moving away from Youth Racing and becoming an almost full-time Senior sailor. I will kick off the New Year training with the British Sailing Team in Vilamoura and am very excited for what the next year of training and racing will bring. We aren’t far off from the 2024 Paris Olympic Games now and am ready to work hard on my goals both on and off the water to give it my best at the Olympic trials.”