49er ISAF Worlds in Santander, Spain – RSA Team Reports

© 2014 Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy

pic by Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy

pic by Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy

This event attracted nations from around the world competing in the Olympic classes for the first of the Rio 2016 slots. There are 50% of the Olympic slots up for grabs. In the 49er class this means that the top 10 nations will qualify to participate in Rio. For us this was always going to be a tough ask at our first World champs, but with such a large and close fleet, anything is possible. We arrived at the venue 2 weeks early to get used to the local conditions and to take part in the class organised training clinic which was to be held 11 days before the event. This would be our only access to a full time coach in our year and would be invaluable to our preparation. However, 2 days before the clinic was due to commence, the International class secretary informed us that this training was to be cancelled. We were already on our way to the venue and our accommodation was already paid for. So we continued with it and went down to the sailing venue, in hope we could find some other teams from other nations who were also training before the event on their own to line up against. For the first 2 days on the water we paired up with a Danish team. This proved to be very useful in the light conditions which we experienced, helping us to find gears and to work out how and when to use them. The following days until the regatta was a mix of good sea breezes and light switchy days. We spent these getting used to wave sailing, which we have very little of in our area of the UK and working on our starts. Each day we went out, we would search around for a team with a coach boat who was running short races for his teams, and ask to join in. Sometimes we were lucky enough for them to agree, and others we were chased off. But in the end we found some good training in these preparation days which put us in good stead for the regatta.

Read more here:  49er ISAF Worlds 2014