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. The regatta presented a range of conditions, we had a light breeze in the qualifying series (two days) but the wind picked up for the final series (three days), in one race it was gusting 20 knots, with a big swell and we had a rain cloud chasing us downwind; Sophie has never heard Charlotte so keen to get the kite down!
The final day of racing consisted of 3 theatre style races (imagine a big swimming lane that all the boats have to stay in) for the top ten boats. We scored 4th, 5th, 5th, which we were happy with, it was steady, it’s quite easy to have a disaster on the last day when the racing is so close. The 49er class appears to have found a sweet spot for medal racing on the last day, three races with single points rather than one double points race.
We are absolutely delighted with our medal, it is a great confidence boost, we had a disappointing 2013 World Championships and this is proof to ourselves that we are back on track, and our hard work this winter has paid off. Especially as the Brazilian girls who we spent the winter training with in Rio won the event. Ultimately, we are pleased but have a long way to go and Rio 2016 is at the forefront of our mind, we need to keep pushing forward in this new class.
Following on the theme of Number two, in the latest ISAF World rankings we have moved in to second position from our previous fourth place. We will take that for now… but we have our eye on the top spot!
Photo credit Jesus Renedo