Shirley Robertson and team are in northern Spain preparing for the Yngling world championship. Team coach, Ian Walker, takes a look at the venue

After an exceptional performance in Hyeres which saw Shirley, Sarah and Sarah win the 11-race regatta with two races to spare we are now all in Santander, North Spain for the Yngling World Championship.

This is our first visit here and it is a very complicated venue. The racing is in the bottom of the Bay of Biscay and 5m swells are not uncommon. There are lots of headlands and steep hills on the coastline and the tides are strong and complicated by a big harbour entrance just off the racecourse.

It actually feels strange for us to have not sailed in the venue before and to therefore be so under prepared. Venue training is normally a key component of our preparation for any top event. It is a deliberate ploy by us to not train here this winter, as we know that this venue has few similarities with Athens. Early selection has enabled us to focus our attentions on the battles that lie ahead and not necessarily this world championship here.

Having said all that we will be looking for a top result to follow on from Hyeres. The girls confidence is high and morale was boosted by them leading round every race of the practice race before deciding to retire at the finish – winning the practice race is often seen by racing sailors as bad luck!

We will simply have to keep our eyes and minds open and learn about the local conditions faster than everyone else. With all the top Yngling sailors in the world here and many of those racing for Olympic selection the stakes are high.

Racing starts today and there are two races a day with teh last one scheduled for Saturday 15 May. Thursday is lay day.