The fact we made it to Kiel at all was a minor miracle after Ed’s passport was stolen less than a week before leaving!
After a two days of frantic activity trying to sort a new one, it eventually arrived the day before we left for the ferry. Our coach Ian was less fortunate, and with his new passport yet to show, we set off without him.
After taking the early ferry from Dover, we drove throughout the day to northern Germany, where we were treated to a delicious home-cooked lasagne by our hosts, the Boheme family. Max Boheme is a crew member for one of the top German 49er teams and they looked after us unbelievably well during our stay at their home, which is a convenient ten minute walk to the club.
We rigged up in the Kiel rain and managed to get one day’s training in before the regatta started. Fortunately, Ben Rhodes was there coaching some of the development squad teams, so he adopted us for the week, once it was apparent that Ian wasn't going to get his passport in time.
Day One was classic Kiel conditions - windy off the land and wet! We were second to start and were moved into a closer course with great flat water conditions. Despite the unpredictable wind we kept it nice and simple and were slightly disappointed with a 4.1,2, but this was enough to lead overnight.
Day Two turned out to be even windier, and we didn't make it out onto the water, so we made the most of the food stands and hospitality on site before they cancelled for the day.
The remainder of the week was run in a range of conditions from super light and random to breezy, offshore conditions. We didn't make life particularly easy for ourselves with some average starting, but battled through to sit second behind local favourites Erik and Tommy, heading into the three final day medal races. We went into the final day within striking distance of first, but had to be wary of the chasing pack who were about nine points behind. Unfortunately, the jury ruined our chances of taking the Gold in the first race by giving us a penalty for a non-existent port/starboard incident! We battled back to seventh in the race, but the points were now a lot closer between us and the chasing pack.
In the second race we stormed through the fleet to finish second and had a nice buffer going into the final race, where we managed to cruise home and comfortably take the Silver medal. This is our second medal in succession, after our Gold at Sail for Gold and we feel as if we are getting stronger as the season progresses.
We now have a few days off to prepare the boat, before making the trip further north to Helsinki for the Europeans. In the interim Ed will be competing in Sweden at Stop #2 of the Alpari World Match Race Tour before meeting up with Dave again in Finland.
We hope to report more good news soon,
Dave & Ed