World Champs Wrap Up… 2010 all over again?

Hopefully you have seen a little of how our World Champs in Santander went, we tried to keep the old Facebook updates coming through.. As annoying a website as it is, its rather handy for quick and easy updates and photo shares! [If you havn’t seen the updates, they are on the top right on the website!]

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If you didn’t see anything, then spoiler alert….

We finished 2nd… Funnily enough, under rather similar circumstances to the 470 Worlds we competed in back in 2010 in Holland four years ago.  What can we say, I guess if we were 2nd at those worlds and followed it up with London, we can safely say we are still on track for Rio, and at the end of the day, its better to hit a few speed bumps now, learn a few lessons, make a few mistakes, and be even more ready for Rio in two years time.

Anyway… Onto the actual regatta!   We had a great build-up, we came over extra early to Santander to compete in two practice regattas, where we had beautiful onshore wind and some great racing (sadly it seemed we used up all of the nice consistent wind pre-regatta), we were in good form, winning both practice events and really happy with our preparations leading in.

By the time the actual World’s came around, the wind had softened rather a lot, and it was a slow start to the regatta with two light wind races on the first day, where we felt a little out of practice in that kind of breeze, although we were consistent, we did made a few mistakes that cost us a few points – This would continue to be an annoying underline for the rest of the event!

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The second day consisted of us floating around on the water in no wind for 5.5 hours, where I-Spy was played to the point where we were laughing hysterically at random words like ‘potato’.  I think the brain goes a little nuts after being confined to a small sailboat for that long…  This was backed up by a few long postponements onshore where we both were good little students, and got our Uni textbooks out at any opportunity, getting some strange looks at times… Apparently we should have been intently preparing for the days racing instead of reading about international business…

Over the next few days the regatta really got going, the wind picked back up, but from an off-shore direction we had never seen before (The typical ‘its not usually like this’ weather call).  We continued our consistent but not quite excelling form, over the entire regatta our worst race placing was a 7th, which was the very first race of the regatta, easily the most consistent boat in the fleet.  The only problem was that our 3rds, 4ths and 5ths, could have been 1sts, 2nds or 3rds.. Just a few little mistakes and a few speed issues at times held us back.  We did however manage our first event in a long time where we omitted our ‘stuff-up’ race, we were consistent all the way through…

Which brought us to the medal race… We went into the medal race one point behind the Austrians, with the British thirteen points behind us, so it was all set for an exciting race! 1597274_886140678077935_576876432929503446_oWe were happy with how we executed the start, with the Austrians being unable to hold their lane off the line, and splitting right.  This was the moment we made our mistake, we let them go… Left it to chance (you may remember a certain medal race two years ago where a similar thing happened, but that time we were on the right side of the shift).  At the first top mark, the Austrians were leading, we were in 9th, in danger of being overtaken by the Brits and dropping to 3rd overall.  From there we knew our only option was ensuring the silver medal, so we clawed back to 6th in the race and took back second overall.

It was a long and tough event, winds of every direction and strength, a strong fleet and a lot of determined teams endeavouring to qualify their nations for the Olympic Games in 2016.  The top 10 countries earned their spots, so we are happy to say that we have ticked off that box, with the next step qualifying ourselves to take up that place.

10321569_883227788369224_508862510686962875_oWe can’t say we are satisfied in any way with the final result, but we know where we made our mistakes, we know the areas we need to work on, we have a great team behind us, and we are looking forward to lifting our performance again in the coming years.

But for now, its time for a bit of a break… We have been all go since early January, and with our next World Champs in March next year, the season is going to ramp up even earlier than usual, so we will take some time while we can!

Thank you ever so much to everyone who has helped us out this year, for all the messages of support and the unwavering belief you guys appear to have in us, its when it doesn’t quite go to plan that it means even more!  An extra special mention to our coach Nathan Handley, who somehow supports and encourages us 100% of the time whether we get it right or not (although yes, you are always welcome to get annoyed at us.. we do too) the original super-coach…

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World Champs Time…

So, we are currently in Santander, Spain, taking part in the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships… The regatta website is rather good, there should be lots of updates and hopefully even some trackers for the latter part of the regatta.  We will try and keep a few updates trickling in via our Facebook feed on the right, but may be a little hit and miss as we have a job to do, so social media comes second!!

For all the official news head to this website:

http://www.santander2014.com/

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Thanx to everyone for all the support, time now for us to go hard and see what happens!

 

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Take Two

Since our last trip overseas we have had a couple of months at home, which to be fair, were intentionally kept pretty low key. They marked the beginning of our build-up to the World Championships in September and with the weather not being that favourable for sailing, we limited our days on the water but had some training sessions with the New Zealand men’s 470 team of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox to keep us on our toes. Along side the sailing we have continued with our usual land based training in the gym, on the bike and out running.

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With the usual training ticking along, we shot down to Blenheim and Christchurch for a couple of days to visit the new Babich Winery where some of our sponsors have built an impressive new facility and to of course sample some of the great wines on offer and enjoy the area.

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This little block also gave us time to start looking forward to 2015 and the logistics surrounding our regatta locations and how to get our gear from place to place. With a World Cup in Miami in January, a World Championships in Israel in March and then a World Cup in March and April in Spain and France we have our work cut out for us to try and line up shipping schedules and equipment!

In between our so-called day jobs we also finished off our university papers for the semester with exams in June, all going well so far we think.

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So here we are again, back in Europe for the build up to our next regatta, the European Championships in Athens. Having come from the depths of the New Zealand winter it is such a treat to go sailing in just a rash top in a fifteen-knot sea breeze!

For your interest, a link to the regatta website is here: http://europeans.470.org/en/default/races/race

 

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For the first time…

So this was the first trip of three to Europe for us this year, more or less just to check in with the women’s 470 fleet and see how we are getting on.  Surprisingly well it would seem as we came away from the two World Cup regattas winning both.

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First up was Mallorca, Spain. We had the usual timed run to get to the island itself – 36 hours on the plane, picking up our gear from storage, getting towbars put on our rental cars and then the overnight ferry into Palma. We hadn’t seen any of our gear since July last year either, so the memory was a bit foggy on what we had and how it had survived the euro winter. Needless to say writing lists of what equipment we have where in the world is high on the priorities!

We eased into the regatta itself with our performances getting better and better as the week went on. Jumping from having five boats on the start line to 50 takes a bit of getting used to again, but the weather conditions were pretty varied so it was a good first test of our training over the NZ summer.

We had a bit of time on our hands between the two regattas, so we thought what would be better than to do a fair bit of boat work that the 470 constantly seems to demand. With Gonzo up to scratch again it was time to move on to Hyeres, France for the next World Cup.

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We had a great couple of weeks in France with warm and sunny weather – always welcome when we don’t have to bring out the 5mm wetsuit. We were possibly adding to our own personal insulation anyway, using all our will power trying to not eat too many of the yummy treats at the local patisserie. We felt more race ready going into this regatta and hung around the top three for most of the event, having a great last day of finals to put us firmly into the lead for the medal race. We had a minor hiccup in this race being over the start early, but restarted and chipped our way through the fleet to secure the overall win.

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Now we are back in NZ for a couple of months, Jo thought she would celebrate this by competing in the Rotorua Marathon this weekend, Polly by doing a uni assignment that has been ignored. But we are actually loving been back home again and do have something to celebrate – we have made the number one spot in the rankings for the first time ever and with a perfect score, pretty stoked with this news.

A huge thanks to our coach Nathan Handley and all our sponsors and supporters – we couldn’t do it without you guys.

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