2014 ISAF World Championships

  • Posted on: 28 September 2014
  • By: Sophie Ainsworth

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.

Having said this there is a long way to go still in this cycle, there are two years to go until the Olympic Games in Rio so the fact that we finished in the top ten and are often in a place where we can medal just means that we need to learn how to close out regattas together.

It seems to be that when the boat handling and the fleet gets quite close together that we don’t quite get the best from our performance. That is definitely something that we will go away and work on with our coach over the next few months. There are clear gains for us to make.

We entered the medal race in Santander in seventh which threw up some really difficult conditions. It was really shifty and the pressure was up and down, the sea breeze was establishing so it hadn’t quite settled down. On the first lap we were coming third and pretty happy with how we had started the race but we then got caught outside a shift and we were then in the battle. And then unfortunately a few boat handling mistakes meant we didn’t win that battle.

It was a little bit disappointing to finish seventh but on the plus side it is a whole lot better than last year’s World Championships where we didn’t even make the gold fleet!

We are left with a slightly empty feeling inside us, but at the same time it’s left us hungry for more, we know that there is a lot more to come from this team, we will be on that podium in 2016. With the Worlds over and with it our last major event of the year finished, we are now looking forward to the winter training which will involve a lot of fitness, a lot of boat handling and to just make sure we are best prepared and ready for next season.

Whilst we were out in Santander the BBC were filming a documentary about the British sailing team, we feature on it smiling and talking about what we do, it’s now on iplayer, make sure you have a look: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04kk5rz/sailing-world-championship...

We want to say a big thank you to our sponsors and supporters Payne Hicks Beach, Draper tools, Sailingfast, IBIsailing, Allen, Volvo Cars UK, The National Lottery, UK Sport, friends and family we want to thank you for all your support, it really does mean a lot to us.

Sophie and Charlotte x