Team Black Tidey Sailing 49erFX

Staying in the loop: August-September 2022

The World Championships

We arrived at our accommodation in Canada and realised we were in the middle of nowhere. No shops, no transport and the locals telling us they aren’t used to having people around here! Not the usual sailing venue we are used to but nonetheless a beautiful coastline and amazing views, and we were very excited to touch down in the Worlds venue.

We got straight to it with unloading the container which had luckily arrived on time (other nations were struggling with their kit arriving) with only 10 days until the event started. Our minds were very clear about what we needed to work on to make a difference to our result: our starting. We knew what we wanted to achieve and all that mattered was to put it into practice and make sure it felt natural to us. Before the event started, we felt we had achieved our goals in starting and there was now no reason to deliver our best performance. We were ready to fight for the week.

We launched on day 1 of the Worlds into 15-18knts and chop/waves. A big day out for the first day! We scored a 20,13,11. Although we left a few points on the water, we felt fast and we were happy with a solid start.

The next day conditions were slightly lighter, 12-15knts and flatter water. We were really happy with our speed and decision making and scored a 1,20,6, another solid day.

Day 3, what a day! My heart is starting to race just thinking about it! The conditions were offshore, wacky, 4-10 knots. We knew this was an important day at the half way stage and the conditions were going to be difficult for consistent results. In the first race, we rounded the first windward mark deep (around 30th!), we stayed calm but knew we had to pull it back. After some great decision making, we finished the race in 10th. A huge relief and we knew that was a counter. We then finished 3rd and 5th in the last two races. A great day of really good sailing.

On the fourth day, we scored a 10,1,9 in 10-14 knots onshore. These solid results saw us move into 3rd on the overall rankings.

We had a really challenging day on day 5. 13-16knts but really choppy water, a condition we have not had much practice in before. We struggled with our technique and our speed was lacking. We had two big results and a 9th which unfortunately put a lot of points on our score line.
Day 6 brought light winds but a bad start in the final fleet race of the event put us in a bit of a difficult position for the medal race. We went into the medal race in 8th with the ability to reach a top 5 finish but it didn’t go our way. We started on port as there was a 15 degree left shift, however, it went a further 15 degrees and the boats further left than us gained. With it being such a short race, there was no way for us to get back so we finished our medal race in 7th which dropped us to 9th overall.

Our goal for this event was to finish top 15 overall and we absolutely smashed it. To make top 10 at our first ever Worlds together was a huge achievement and we couldn’t be prouder of our team. We are more motivated than ever to continue the hard work and show the potential our team has. We would like to say a massive thank you to all the support around us. Without GRP Boat Repairs, Mainbrace Rum and Craftinsure, this result would not have been possible. GBR24 signing out, bring on GBR 9!

Den Haag Test Event

We had just over a week and a half at home before we headed out to Den Haag where our Worlds next year will be held. This will be a very important event as we will need to finish in the top 10 nations to qualify GBR for a spot at the Olympic Games. The Test Event is significant so that the organisers can have a practice run and we can get more time in the venue. Den Haag, as we found out, is a difficult place to sail with tide being a big factor. For us, going to this event was purely for venue recall and to work out what areas will be a strength for next years worlds. We were not looking to finish with a result at this event and the learning was great with conditions that pushed us. A short, but good, trip away with lots of planning also thrown in for this winter.

A great season of racing for us and we are now ready to get our heads down and train hard this winter to make next years season of racing even better!

Yours in sailing,

Freya and Sas