Team Black Tidey 49er FX

Staying In the Loop – July-September 2022


We arrived in rainy Kiel (classic!) excited to get back into racing after a few months at home. Unfortunately, on day 1 of racing Freya came down with Covid and our warm up event for the Euros was cut short. Our lead into the Europeans didn’t quite go how we imagined after this, with Freya stuck in bed and Sas having to do all the hard graft to make sure the boat was ready for the event. We managed to get on the water for 45 minutes before the start of the event (carefully managing Freya’s tiredness) and then we were ready to give it everything we had in the tanks.

Every opportunity to race before the worlds was great training and learning. This lead in and managing an illness was good practice, in case it was to happen at a major event in the future.


The Europeans were held at Aarhus, Denmark which is a notorious sailing venue for the shiftiest offshore conditions and low and behold those were the conditions we had. It was going to be a high scoring regatta so consistency was going to be key for this event.
On the first day, we had around 15knts and scored a 5,21 and our first ever international win as a team.

We posted a 7,17,7 on the second day which was solid. On the third day, a 7,21,17 saw us end the qualifying series and achieve gold fleet which we were really happy about.

Our good results in qualifying was us pulling races back after bad starts; the average results was when we couldn’t get out of the pack. We were really struggling to get off the line in a good position due to our slow boat handling skills and our roles in the boat. When racing in gold fleet these mistakes are compounding and it is harder to get out of them as the standard of the fleet is much higher. A string of poor results in gold fleet saw us end the event in 24th/70.

A difficult event for us but there was a lot of good learning and takeaways to be worked on. We had a really good review with Stu Bithell (our mentor) after the event and the main target areas before we headed to Canada were:

  • Boat handling (throwing it round the course)
  • Starting goals
  • Teamwork


We arrived in Marseille for a two week British Sailing Team camp to learn the Olympic venue and to get some good training in the conditions. Full sunshine and 30 degrees was a bit of shock to the system but the wind and the waves soon cooled us off.

Marseille was an epic place to sail in with a big range of conditions: 20knts huge waves to 6knts flat water with a few choppy mid range days in there too. It was also a really cool environment for us to be surrounded by the whole team working hard.
We tried to get as much racing practice in with foreign training partners and to learn the technique needed for the venue. We learnt a lot and it was a very motivating two weeks for the olympic games in 2 years time.

We then headed back to the UK to get ready to fly to Canada Yours in sailing,
Freya and Saskia