It’s been busy since my last blog at the beginning of March. Now there’s only 58 days left to go until the start of the Olympic Games and Saskia [Clark] and I are really ramping it up with our training. Over the past couple of weeks we have been hitting the gym, having some of the longest training days of our lives and as we are on a weight gain programme to make ourselves heavier for the boat we have been eating more than we ever thought imaginable.??In between all this, I still managed the time to pop home to Cardiff to give a presentation at the Volvo dealership and visit my old school.
Hannah inspires the young students at her old school
Then there was also the small matter of the 2012 470 World Championship event to attend in Barcelona....??Getting the time to go back home was great as I won’t be home until after the Games now. I always love going home, driving over the bridge and paying the £6 toll charge! I lived in Wales until I was about 18 in a little village a few miles from Cardiff and really enjoyed growing up there and sailing at Penarth Sailing club.??Unfortunately my parents weren’t around over the weekend as it was my Mum’s birthday but after all my sponsor commitments I managed to head to Nandos with some old friends for a catch up which was cool.
I hadn’t been back to my old school (Howell’s School Llandaff) since I had left. The welcome I received by the teachers and students was absolutely incredible and left me feeling totally overwhelmed. To see the excitement of the students and my old teachers was fantastic — I think some of the teachers were a bit surprised I actually achieved the goal I talked about at school but they were all so supportive. It was one of the first times I have really noticed the effect the Olympics will have on our country and the inspiration it will bring.
Training has been going really well down in Weymouth and our days have been long, starting at 8am finishing about 7pm-ish. But now is the time to be putting in the hours and we are feeling good about where we are heading. It was great to head out to the Worlds in Barcelona with some good training behind us and getting a bit of a change of scene always helps keep things fresh. We went into the competition knowing full well our goal is this summer and the Olympics but also knowing if we were sailing well and achieving our goals for the regatta then we would be in with a good chance of being on the podium. The week started, well disastrously to be honest! I had a bike-related injury on the way to the sailing club on race day one and with blood coming out of my head it was all a bit worrying! I felt fine though so we went out racing but the day got worse with a disqualification in the only race we sailed that day (we were over the start line at Go).
However it was a long week with 13 races and we pulled ourselves together as a team to sail really consistently from then on.??Going into the final race, we were in 4th place but only 4 points behind 2nd and 3rd so we knew gold was achievable.... it was seriously nerve wracking, but we held our nerve and went on to win!??To say we were absolutely ecstatic is an understatement. It was our first gold medal and to win it at the Worlds gives us great confidence that our training is going well and that we are in a strong position leading into the Games. Unfortunately there was no one really around that we could celebrate with in the evening so we saved it until we were home. We didn’t celebrate too hard though- as hopefully we will be celebrating lots in the summer. I imagine another trip home to Cardiff will be on the cards if we medal!
The first in a series of 'Get to know Team Volvo' videos with the spotlight on the 470 Girls - two of Britain's top medal hopefuls, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. Gain an insight into the top paring - find out their sporting idols, annoying habits and what they think about each other! Find out more on the 470 Girls and some of Britain's top sailing talent on the Volvo Sailing App http://bit.ly/njBSk4
Our next regatta is the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth and Portland from June 4-9. It’s another big event for us – competing on the Olympic waters. Then it is just continuing with the training – although we will take a couple of days off at the end of June though to take part in the J.P Morgan Asset Management Round the Island race which will be fun. Sas and I will compete together with media and guests plus I’m the race starter which is exciting!
Apparently I just have to press a button to fire the cannon so hopefully can’t go too wrong…!
Read more from Team Volvo on their weekly blog on the Times online http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/olympics/blog