Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Team Tunnicliffe Training In France; Oo La La !

by Anna Tunnicliffe

Our day started at 6:15 am on Sunday morning, 20 March, and ended just after dinner on the 21st when we fell asleep hard after a long day and a half of traveling. We took a plane to a train to a car to arrive at our final destination, Pornichet, France.

We are here to train with France’s Claire Leroy and team for five days before we head south to Spain for more practice with the Russian team and then farther south for the second stop of the ISAF World Cup, the Princesa Sophia Trofeo regatta in Palma, Spain.

It was quite the trip. We met up with our coach Dave Dellenbaugh in Washington to fly to Paris. On this flight, Deb and I were each at the end of a row of five seats, and Dell was seated behind Deb. Since Deb is quite good at sleeping on flights, and Dell and I are not, I switched seats with her so Dell and I could chat. Just after we switched seats, the overhead bin above Deb broke, and almost fell out. When that fell out, another part of the paneling fell down, a piece that was already taped up with Duct tape. It was a little scary at first, but luckily no-one got hurt and there was no baggage in the bin so nothing major happened. The flight crew called the maintenance people aboard to fix the problem, and how did they fix it?...with more Duct tape. Dell and I were a bit worried for Deb at take-off because we thought the bin was going to fall again, but the tape held and all was well for the rest of the flight.

Once we arrived in Paris, we got our luggage and headed to the train station to catch our train. We had a couple hours to wait so we were able to grab a bit of breakfast and a coffee to stay awake. We got on the train, and it was a rather pleasant ride. It was very quiet and smooth and all of us managed to catch up on some sleep. Three hours later, we arrived in Nantes train station, caught a cab to the airport where we picked up our rental car and managed to squeeze in us and all our bags…just. We got in the car and started to drive north to Pornichet while trying to get my European GPS to work. (The story of my trip so far…all my electronics have managed to stop working; my iPod, GPS, Kindle…so it was par for the course.) Luckily, the car had a built in GPS so we could plug in a street in Pornichet to get us there; then began our scavenger hunt for our housing. Eventually we found our house, the grocery store and the boats. This evening we unpacked our bags, ate dinner and are heading to bed soon since we have to start sailing at 10am tomorrow morning.

We would like to thank our gold level sponsor 11th Hour Racing, and our bronze level sponsors Carmeuse, Trinity Yachts, and Chicago Match Race Center for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their continued support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to either The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) memo'd Anna Tunnicliffe, or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

Team Tunnicliffe