At the start of 2015, we decided the test event would be the outcome regatta of the year. Except after the previous six months we’ve had we had to move the goal to the 2015 World Championships. We hadn’t had a consistent coach; fundamentally we didn’t have the support that we desperately wanted. The hardest part of this was that we knew exactly what we wanted. We are happy to say that Mark Asquith is now the British 49erFx podium squad coach. Instantly he has added energy to our programme. More good news is that we are both in one piece after an intense six weeks of training and racing.
Sophie Ainsworth's blog
Do you want the bad news or the good news?
Well to wrap up 2014 it was good but we want 2015 to be great! We end the year third in the World rankings. It’s scary to think the Olympic games are next year… We better get cracking.
In November 2014, we went out to Rio and it was incredible, the entire 49erFX top 10 bar the ITA team met us out there. We didn’t miss a single days sailing, it was 12-18 knots everyday except one, where we had a light wind race and finished fourth.
We finished seventh overall at the 2014 World Championships.
I would sum up our World Championships as a week of learning, that is for sure. Charlotte and I were slightly annoyed with our final result in Santander as we felt like we definitely had more to give and have more potential in this new 49erFX class than we showed over the course of the regatta. We smashed the qualifying racing, putting us in second overall but struggled in the second half of the week.
We can’t quite believe it ourselves, but whilst we were out in Rio for the 2014 Olympic test event, the date for two years until the Olympic games passed. We now have less than two years!
Well we arrived to the coolest climate we've sailed in all year (thirteen degrees Celsius), yes we know that we've been incredibly spoilt but it was certainly a shock to our system. Sophie was quite upset that despite lugging her wellington boots around with her all year, this was the one event they were left at home. It was fantastic though, as for the last three months we have been desperate to work on our boat handling in windy weather to continue our progression from Garda, and the areas Olympian Ben Rhodes thought we could improve.
World Cup regatta number two of 2014, Princess Sofia Regatta, Palma, was a great event for us, we won our first World Cup medal together in the 49er FX. Now all we need to do is work on the colour – we won bronze. It was a very different regatta to this time last year, the fleet was a lot tighter and ultimately it came down to tactical decisions rather than who could keep the boat upright and moving in the right direction quickly! Although, we have no doubt that there is plenty more to come, especially for us in the breezier conditions.
Neither of us had ever been to Rio before but we absolutely loved it. We went for 3 weeks before Christmas and 2 weeks after Christmas and didn’t miss a single day’s sailing. Our biggest problem was trying not to get the heat grump…!
On our first trip we had one day off and thought it best to do all the tourist attractions in one day, sugar loaf, Christ the Redeemer and Copacabana beach. We then competed in the Intergalatic Championships for the 49ers and 49er FXs which we won. There was a crew race to finish the event, I don’t think either of us have ever been so scared.
We had one... Our first 49er FX World Championships was quite frankly a bit of a disaster! We are quite disappointed with how the event went but there are a few potential explanations, we've learnt some invaluable lessons and we've got some serious fire in our bellies. It was an eventful week but we thought we would share our highlights with you.
Charlotte's highlight: When Sophie climbed onto the Italian's boat to try and prevent them writing three 49ers off in one incident. Vanessa Daytona (the boat) comes first...
Wow... The photos speak for themselves! Absolute carnage, Charlotte literally got punched in the face by the boat. We ended up in an FX sandwich (not our fault) and our boat got damaged. Our slight speed issue could be explained by a de-laminated board! You live and learn...