Its been a busy start to 2015, by the end of January we have already been to Miami and back, competed in and subsequently won the first World Cup event of this year.. Not quite the cruisy NZ summer approach we have taken before, but its been great fun!
So, where to start.. Well, we left NZ on the 11th of Jan – off to Miami, which seemed further away than we remembered, it looks so close on the map, but still took 24 hours to get there.. We arrived at our hotel around midnight, Jo jumped online to check her email, and lo and behold, the first email she read was ‘we are sorry to inform you that the container with your boat on it has missed the ship to Miami and is currently stuck in Panama… Ship arrival estimate 23rd of Jan, possibly clearing customs 26th/27th/28th (the regatta started on the 26th). Not exactly what we wanted to hear at that time…
Cue days of thinking, planning, ideas – even toying with the idea of trying to fly our other boat over from Barcelona! But that proved to be a rather prohibitively expensive exercise.. Then we got lucky.. One of the young British girls team’s crew had gotten an injury a week before, and they had a boat in Miami but were not allowed to sail it for another week, so we chartered it and competed in the North American Champs, where we had a bit of a shocker, never actually saw the final results, but we were deep! But it was good to at least get out on the water and race, the plan at that stage was to head back to NZ after that, at least having done some racing before we went home…
It was a very up and down week, one day shipping schedules sounded promising, the next, not so much… We were pretty much all ready to come home, Nathan had just sent off a message confirming his flights back to NZ, when we got an email saying that rather amazingly our container ship had somehow arrived three days early into Miami (rather unheard of!), so we quickly made Nathan abort his flight plans, and went back into a hopeful frame of mind!
After some great work by shipping agents in NZ and Miami, our boat cleared customs and was delivered to us on the 23rd (the Friday before the regatta started on Monday..), so after a full day of boat work we were able to get out in our new Cookie Monster boat for two days of training before we started racing! It was all coming together!!
The actual World Cup regatta was great fun, we were just happy to actually be there racing, which a week before had seemed impossible! We also got lucky weather wise, Miami being an often windless place, came through with a rather cold front (not what we were expecting – we all froze!) and we had great wind all week. We started out well, with two 2nd placings on the first day, it was exciting racing, with a massive rain & wind squall coming through in the first race, flattening most of our fleet.. We were downwind with the kite up when it hit, but there was no way we were going to capsize our nice new boat, so we held it together!
From there on, we were very consistent, with a 1,7, on day two, followed by a 1,1, on day three, and a 1,3, to finish off day four – we didn’t race day five as there was no wind.. So by the time it came to the medal race we were 19 points clear, and all we had to do was finish the race to win the regatta… We sailed the medal race a little like we sailed the rest of the races, good start, a mistake or two early on, and then a solid comeback! We rounded the first mark in 9th out of 10, then quickly made up ground to finish the medal race in 2nd, and take the overall regatta title by 27 points… A nice way to start our 2015 year!
After all the logistical dramas in getting to the start line, we had to laugh when we checked the status of our flight out of Miami to LA via Chicago the morning of leaving, to find it was cancelled… Some quick internet booking got us on another flight to LA via Orlando, which we discovered when we got to the gate was rather over-booked… Luckily I think they felt sorry for us, and we managed to get on the plane… Only to have a ‘mechanical delay’ and sit on the tarmac for 45min, which got us a little worried about not making the next connection! But it all worked out, we made it to LA in plenty of time to get our connection home to NZ – and our luggage even made it too!
It was just awesome to get out there and race all the girls again, nice to test out our new boat (rather happy with it!), and now excited to be back home and get some NZ summer under our belts! Hmm although the day we arrived home was the first rain there had been in Auckland for five weeks… Oh well, can’t win them all…
Next up is the NZ 470 Nationals, where we expect a good battle with Paul & Dan (biggest event of the year some would say…), then on to Sail Auckland at the end of the month..
Then we are getting ready to head away again, with a regatta in Palma before our next World Cup event in France in April! Can’t wait!!
And in other news, we can also confirm that we are once again ranked World No.1.. bring on 2015!