Life has been fairly busy since my last update; Individual Project (also known as dissertation, Bachelor project, Bachelor thesis), PalmaVela, more uni-work...
Starting with the most time-consuming activity, the individual project. The final report has been printed, bound and handed-in with 'only' a presentation (VIVA), a paper and presentation (INNOV'SAIL) to worry about. The last couple of days were stressful but also oddly relaxing. because of the report requirements and horror stories about printing and binding a tight deadline had been self-imposed which resulted in a finished report well ahead of the deadline. As a result the 'last-minute' stress was actually well before the deadline and relaxing with the weight off the shoulders started a little bit ahead of most of my peers.
But with the project handed in, the focus is back with all the other uni-work that is still left: 5 coursework deadlines, 3 exams, a presentation on the individual project as well as continuing the search for a placement/work experience position this summer. And besides that there is the pressure of the paper and presentation at Innov'Sail this summer as well. As my supervisor Dr. Hudson said to me: "Our work isn't really finished, is it."
Then there was a bit of sailing since the last update, racing in Palma (PalmaVela) with the TP52 'Weapon of Choice' against three MedCup TPs as the season opener. In brief the reduction in crew weight has lead to a much harder job for everyone on board. My role was backstay-trimmer (twin backstays) which involved a very intensive communication between the mainsail trimmer and myself and plenty of minute changes throughout the day. It did mean I was allowed to be one of three people to race with legs inboard so that adjustments could be made quickly. At mark roundings the role of backstay became secondary and I moved forward to mid-bow for the jib-hoist and spinnaker drop primarily. With guys like Jules Salter and David Lenz on board it was extremely easy to learn a huge amount once more. If there was a downside to the story it must have been the return trip which was distinctly effected by the vulcanic ash and resulted in a 36hr-twin ferry-roadtrip with a loss of laptop and camera. So no photos to show from the racing.
Anyhow, this bank-holiday weekend is filled with the joys of coursework; only 5 more weeks in this academic year so not actually that big a sacrifice. The focus is distinctly on finishing on a high which will mean very limited updates here...