Bronze Fleet …
The heading pretty much sums out how we performed at the 2014 ISAF World Championships, but there is a story with it…
It was a difficult start to the week for us; after just three races we had picked up a UFD (over the line disqualification) and also failed to finish another race after breaking two tiller extensions within about 40 seconds of one another. When the second tiller broke, we both knew at that point it was the end of our hopes of not just winning or medalling at the worlds, but simply gold fleet. It was quite hard at that point to find the motivation to get back on the water and carry on racing, but we did not want to just give up . . . so we kept fighting.
We got it wrong again in the next race - this time someone crashed into us at the top mark. We got rafted up and were then back in last. Things really were not going our way, but again we had a chat and waited on the water for the wind to play ball before getting one last race in the qualifying series.
At last we got our acts together, started well, raced well, went fast and pulled in a 2nd. We had quite the score card at that point . . . UFD,20,DNF,33,2 . . .suffice to say letters are not ideal!
Bronze fleet. To race or not to race was the question. We have seen this happen to top teams before and most of the time they just go home. After a long chat, we decided we wanted to go and race, learn what we could and also go out to enjoy racing. After a hard four days and we were not exactly having the best fun, but we were not alone.
We set ourselves a target to win every race, which is quite a big goal even in bronze fleet. We were not the only casualty of a tricky qualifying series, so we were joined by some of our friends who were also normally in gold fleet. As it turned out bronze fleet got the best of the conditions, with some awesome racing in the harbour just in front of a packed grandstand. Over the next seven races we won six, only coming 2nd in the other - not quite achieving our goal, but we had a good time, sailing well together. It was much nicer racing, away from the shore, in our own world, striving towards a gold medal no matter what was thrown at us.
There is no doubt we made some big errors, which we must learn from to come back stronger and compete once again at the top. We have a solid plan in place with our coach and after what was, and potentially still was, our best year - medalling at the Europeans, Test event, Palma World cup and winning the Delta Lloyd Regatta, but it’s not over yet! We still have three regattas left to go; two in Rio including the South American’s and Intergalactic’s followed by the World Cup Sailing Final in Abu Dhabi.
Right now we are chilling out - enjoying a little holiday before getting back into training on Friday.