Marseille 49er Worlds

November 1, 2013 in News

November 1, 2013

Marseille Worlds

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1272227_10152231675979972_220859626_o©PierickJeannoutot-55 What can we say about the 49er Worlds in Marseille then? Finishing the week in 44th overall was a very disappointing way to end the year considering the progress shown throughout the rest of the season. Comparing the fleet at the two major events on the calendar, the Worlds and the Europeans, shows that there were only a few additions to the fleet. The difference however, between our two finishing positions of 19th at the Europeans and 44th at the Worlds is tough to take. ISAF put a more positive spin on things with the release of their Sailing World rankings (based on each sailors last 6 competitions), placing us in 30th in the World. After only one year in the boat together to reach 30th overall is certainly very pleasing and helped refocus the mind after our Worlds performance. Back to Marseille and how the week unfolded. Unfortunately for us the first three days were particularly demanding. Very light winds from the SSE coupled with the support boats kicking up some confused waves, resulted in conditions we had never previously sailed in, never mind raced in. By the time we got to grips with what the boat required in these tricky conditions it was too late. We had missed out on the top 40 cut and hence the opportunity for promotion into the semi-final top 22 stage. From Day 4 onwards the breeze steadily increased in both strength and instability resulting in some exciting downwind legs. The most memorable of which involved our spinnaker pole almost spearing an Italian off the back of his PORT tack boat! Even with plenty of prior warning that we had right of way they decided that their best option was to ignore. Now I know they speak a different language but screaming is universal all over the World (and used frequently in Italy might I add!) To cut a messy story short we should have speared him, as the other option lead us down the pitchpole route! Peeved doesn’t quite cut it! I am writing this from the wet and stormy Weymouth where winter training has commenced. As always plenty of breeze forecast in the foreseeable future. Ah Weymouth winter, we have missed you!

Aarhus Europeans

November 1, 2013 in News

July 16, 2013

Aarhus Europeans

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Euros-2 Euros-1 The regatta started in similar fashion to our very first regatta together; the Christmas race in Palamos. By that I mean we won the first race by quite a margin. Luckily for us this is where the similarities ended and we didn’t follow it up with me running straight out of the boat in the 2nd race and capsizing. Instead we managed a respectable 10th place in what were very shifty and unpredictable conditions. ‘Mario Kart Racing’ seemed to be the expression most of our fellow sailors summarized the day with. Day 2 was a completely different day with very steady onshore winds gusting upto 15 knts. This did not make it any easier to race in however, with such a strong fleet of boats, boatspeed played a huge role in all of the four races sailed. We managed a consistent set of scores in all but one of the four races to put us comfortably inside the Gold fleet cut of 32 at the end of the day. With qualifying over, Day 3 was our first opportunity to race against the top 32 teams in the world. This as it turned out was quite a baptism of fire with the races needing to be very close to the shore for broadcasting purposes. The expression ‘Mario Karts’ again sprung to mind. Short, multiple lap courses were the order of the day with large 40 degree shifts dropping out of Aarhus. A tricky day for all those involved. Unfortunately despite improving as the day went on we missed the top 16 cut by 1 point. Although bitterly disappointing at the time, with hindsight it is not hard to see that our final placing of 23rd is very pleasing at this stage in the campaign. Back to the racing and having missed out on the top 16 cut there were still opportunities to gain promotion at the end each day. I realise that for those uninitiated with the new formats being trialed by the 49er class they do sound confusing, what with promotions and fleets getting cut before the final medal races. I too myself thought that it was a very confusing format. However, once you understand the ins and outs of the system, it does make for more entertaining racing whilst still maintaining a level of integrity. An easy way to think of it is in a tournament context; quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, where boats that haven’t made the cut have the chance to race off for promotion in each of the three stages. Throughout the final two days we were always just on the cusp of promotion only to miss out by a coupe of points on both occasions. As I mentioned before however although this was somewhat disheartening at the time we can be very satisified with finishing 23rd. We are now back into full-time training mode in the lead up to the Worlds in Marseille at the end of September. Keep up to date with all that is happening between now and then on our facebook and twitter pages. Thanks for reading Fynn

Delta Lloyd & Formats

June 12, 2013 in News

June 12, 2013

Delta Lloyd & Formats

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Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der BorchDelta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch Winter has returned! Well at least it had when we arrived in Medemblik for our first EUROSAF event of the year. As if being bombarded by rain and winds up to 30 knots was not enough, a hailstorm also made an appearance. Despite the weather, racing was great fun and provided another opportunity to see how much progress we had made during the last training period. This year ISAF has been trailing a number of different scoring formats in the hope of making sailing a more attracting viewing experience. The idea is to make it easier to understand and more exciting whilst still producing a worthy winner. In my opinion they have not succeeded on any front. The format chosen for the 49er at the EUROSAF events is as follows; 2 days qualifying (4 races per day), 2 days final series where the fleet is split into gold and silver (4 races per day), the top 8 then take their position forward into a 3 race theatre style series to decide the podium positions (i.e. 1st starts the day on 1 point, 2nd on 2 points, etc.) What this essentially means is that the first 16 races held on the 4 days leading up to the final day count as 1 race, or in other words 75% of the regatta is decided by the final 3 races. In my opinion the simplicity of the scoring and ensuring a worthy winner have both been undermined by this format. The third point mentioned above was to make it a more attractive viewing experience. Whether the scoring system has any relation to the attractiveness of the sporting event is debatable; it is the marketing, the quality of the media coverage, the commentary and the characters themselves that define whether or not it is appealing to a sailor or non-sailor audience. One change that did make a beneficial difference to the racing was the introduction of two windward marks. Having both a windward and leeward gate kept the racing close, made for exciting viewing and produced a worthy winner. More than can be said for the scoring system. In spite of the format we still managed to focus on what was important for our progress, mainly pre-start practice. The conditions also highlighted areas for improvement; with gusty/shifty breeze and short steep chop resulting in a number of capsizes from promising positions. The most prominent of which occurred on Day 3 whilst leading by a solid margin in 16 – 20 knots. Frustrating as it was, it is great to know that we can produce race-winning performances once we cut out the mistakes. Looking back at the results from the 3 big events this year we have placed as follows: Palma – 40th, Hyeres – 24th, Delta Lloyd – 14th. I think we can safely say that we are headed in the right direction. Next up is Sail 4 Gold starting on the 9th of June, with 20 entries so far it is looking like it could be a great warm up Regatta for the Europeans. Team Asher Sterritt

Hyeres

April 30, 2013 in News

April 30, 2013

Hyeres

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DSC_0020 DSC_0042 The past two weeks in Hyeres, both training and competing, have been another fantastic learning experience. Unfortunately for you readers we don’t have any epic incidents to tell you about. We do however have plenty of good news. The first of which, for those who haven’t seen the scorecard, is that we made it into the Gold fleet! We also managed to get our first race win together at an ISAF World Cup event. Great feeling, and one that we can’t wait to experience on a regular basis. Hyeres threw up a whole variety of conditions throughout the week, with light winds in the qualifying stages to stronger winds and short steep waves in the finals. Finishing qualifying in 8th place was a definite highlight of the week, in hindsight slightly offset by the disappointment of not being able to finish the Regatta due to illness. With Fynn being physically sick during all three of Thursday’s races, the decision not to race on Friday was relatively straightforward. A tough and emotionally difficult decision, but without doubt the right one. We now find ourselves back on home soil where summer has almost begun. The days are getting longer and the sun is almost warming. Lets hope come the end of the week winter hasn’t re-gripped, when training mode begins again in earnest. Team Asher Sterritt DSC_0056 DSC_0059

Princess Sofia Regatta

April 9, 2013 in News

April 09, 2013

Princess Sofia Regatta - Palma

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We have now come to the end of our first ISAF World Cup regatta together: fantastic experience! Those who have been following on Facebook and twitter will know that we haven’t been especially lucky with breakages. In fact ‘unlucky’ would be a wee bit of an understatement. Blowing up two rudder stocks in two days was quite a feat, particularly considering the majority of the seasoned campaigners had never seen such a breakage. Screaming downwind in 25 knots and massive waves is exhilarating on its own without the added anxiety of face-planting the water as the boat suddenly screws into the wind. You hit the water at some pace I can tell you! We didn’t let our luck get us down however and still came back to shore with a smile, even after spending the majority of the first two days upside down trying to get the boat back to the beach. Big thanks to Paul and Sparky for their efforts. Day 3 was the last day of qualifying before the 73 strong fleet was split into Gold and Silver. After our exploits on the first two days it was always going to be a difficult task to make the gold fleet. Unfortunately we didn’t quite make the cut with only 10 points between 37th place and ourselves in 40th. The initial disappointment at missing out on the Gold fleet was soon replaced by the realization that the silver fleet would provide a comparable learning opportunity. This statement was true to form with the race committee sending the silver fleet out onto the Finn course, they must have felt we needed more practice in the big waves! They were right! All in all a great experience and a good way to kick off the campaign. Next stop on the ISAF World Cup Series calendar is Hyeres in just under two weeks. Hopefully we won’t have to use our vast experience of boat recovery this time around. I have to say we are getting pretty slick! Team Asher Sterritt

Big Wednesday

March 19, 2013 in News

March 20, 2013

Big Wednesday

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BW2BW1 What can we say about Big Wednesday? Well it was big! The 49erFX girls will be able to testify to that! So will my ribs! Having got down to the club in time to get out on the water before the wind picked up (or so we thought), we quickly set about getting ready. I believe I remember Nasher suggesting that maybe we should wait until that big black cloud had passed. This suggestion was swiftly withdrawn as the FX girls started launching! (First mistake!) Anyhow, the plan was to team up with Stu and Twigs just out of reach of the breaking waves, before heading off to work on some bear aways in the comfort of another boat. Being slightly behind the other boys, we soon realised that they had disappeared off upwind without waiting (Second mistake.) No matter! The first three or so bear aways were steady but unspectacular. Leading us to the conclusion that one more would be a good idea. Not so! Let me explain for those who aren’t educated in the world of 49er sailing that bearing away in order to go downwind puts the boat through a huge power zone where the boat is trying to accelerate. In this case the acceleration combined with the waves was simply pushing the nose of the boat straight into the water leading to a series of abrupt eject manoeuvres round the forestay or in Nasher’s case, into the main and rigging. Again the decision was made to try just once more (Third mistake!) Now in hindsight the most sensible option, having realized bearing away was a no go, would have been to take the main down and sail in under jib. Instead we decided to surf across the bay to El Cid with the main flogging away and the board half up. After capsizing above the harbour and trying in vain to get the boat to calm down and obey orders we were rescued by Mr. Asquith and DEEP. Cheers boys! They nursed us into El Cid where we would go pick it up later with Stu and Twiggy. This as it is was another mistake. Upon arrival we were informed that some kind soul had seen us out in the bay and informed the local police we were sinking and injured. Don’t get me wrong; it is good to know people are looking out for you. The main issue was that Stu and Twigs were there to get it all on camera, cheers boys! Still at least we didn’t embarrass ourselves on the dance floor! Team Asher Sterritt

After Christmas training and going forward

February 27, 2013 in News

February 1, 2013

After Christmas Training

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After Christmas we have returned to Mar Menor to carry on training. We will be training out here until the beginning of March, we then relocate to Palma ready for the 3rd round of the ISAF Sailing World Series at the start of April. We will be competing at the 4th round in Hyeres at the end of April, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in May, Sail for Gold Regatta in June, our Europeans in Denmark in July, then the main event for us this year is the 49er World Championships in Marseille at the end of September. Our goal is to finish in the top 10. It is a big ask for our first year in a new class, but we are working extremely hard and are confident that the program we have designed with our coach will deliver us at the Worlds with best possible chance of achieving our goal.

Welcome to Team Asher Sterritt

January 31, 2013 in News

January 31, 2013

Welcome to Team Asher Sterritt

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asher_sterritt_49er_1 Welcome to our new Website! How exciting! We hope you all like it. Please feel free to suggest how it can be improved or made more user friendly! We will be using this section to keep you up to date with the inner workings of the programme and what we get up to outside of competitions. Let us begin from the beginning! Having teamed up in November we quickly established that in order to start putting in some quality sailing time, winter in Weymouth was not ideal. This being the case, flights we swiftly booked out to Los Narejos in southern Spain. Since then we have spent the majority of our time in Los Narejos with occasional trips home for rest, S & C and small celebrations such as Christmas. That is pretty much where we are at now folks, keep up to date via facebook and twitter for all the latest news, tweets and pics! Team Asher Sterritt