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