by Richard Crockett
A very disappointing second half of the world championship regatta saw the RSA pairing of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson drop to 11th place overall – and miss the cut for that very vital medal race.
The 470 Men’s fleet was put on notice that South Africa’s 470 sailors are well and truly in the hunt for glory when Asenathi Jim & Roger Hudson’s scorching performance on day 3 saw them take the series lead. The pair grappled to find consistency in the second half of the regatta, wrapping up in 11th overall, but still marked a career best performance at a 470 Championship.
“We are very delighted especially in this year’s Worlds as we build up to the Games,” said Jim. “I can say it is the right message to our competitors, and it is the right step for us to see what we can do with good equipment. It has given us more motivation of what we can do and where we need to work now.”
“Sure the boat has helped,” commented Hudson, referring to the new boat they raced at the Worlds, “but we have been training like crazy for a very long time and it is nice to be paying off. 32nd at the ISAF Worlds in 2014, 21st at the 2015 470 Worlds and 11th here. We are making progress in the right direction which is the most important thing. And we are hungrier than ever to keep working hard and get to an end goal. It’s a real honour to come 11th in a fleet of this calibre – as there are such good sailors all the way through.”
Weather extremes on the final day delivered thunder, lightning and heavy rain, keeping fleets ashore, before a breeze of 38 knots swept across the race track.
The wind died, picked up and then settled at around 17 knots for racing, serving up the breeziest day of the Championship so far.
The RSA teams undoing for a place in the medal race was undone in race 9 when they scored a 28, their worst result in the regatta, but followed that up with a 8th – yet it was simply not good enough to qualify for a top 10 finish.
Asenathi and Roger will be stronger and hungrier now, so keep a close eye on them as they now have the ‘bit between their teeth’.
Will they keep their best for last – being the Olympics in Rio and pull something very special out of the bag? I just think they might.
Well done on keeping South African sailors on the edge of their seats all week.
Their results were:
3; 16; 6; 11; 1; 22; 21; 28; 28; 8