We thought it was about time to do a short update on where our “Molly & Alex Sailing” campaign is at.
Mid June we left NZ for a 6 week stint in Europe. Our first stop was Aarhus, Denmark. Aarhus hosted the 2013 49er & 49erFX European Championship. With a great skiff fleet in Denmark, the Danish proved to be excellent hosts. The Olsen family opened their home to us during our time in Denmark and made us feel very welcome and home.
For our 10 day build up to the regatta we had Dave Robinson coaching us, as Nathan was unable to come with us. Through the training and coach’s regatta he was heaps of fun and with a new perspective Dave gave us some great ideas to try out. We were also fortunate to have Jez Fanstone’s expertise and company for the remaining time in Denmark. Jez shared his wealth of knowledge, belted out number one hits including Bruno Mars and Titanium, and thankfully never had a heart attack after watching a few of our starts. After coaching silver medallists I’m sure we were entertaining, but he was always encouraging and we are still remembering and learning from his tips.
The Europeans was a challenging event for us. We had a wide range of conditions and on most days consistency was key, with top boats often back in the fleet. At times we were the ones thanking our lucky stars, while at other times we were drifting in pain, watching half the fleet sail around us on the last downwind. In these conditions opportunities were everywhere. For most of the event we were placed around 3rd, never having a shocking day but always frustrated as we never had a day where we felt like we were on form. The format used for the championship placed a lot of emphasis on the last day, so we were happy we were in the hunt for a podium finish going into the 3, double point stadium races.
With the finals course close to shore, the breakwater was filled with sailors and supporters for these 3 intense races. The first two went great and we moved nicely up the leader board to 2nd going into the last race. We were happy with how we were approaching the races, and felt comfortable in the boat, but in sailing things can change pretty fast. In the final race, we got an ok start but 20 seconds after the gun we found ourselves in a bit of trouble with the Brazilians crouching in below us and the British powering over us trapping hard. We were too late to see and anticipate it coming, so a short raft up surprised us. The British were quick to do a turn but unfortunately we were bounced out and never got back into the game.
Even though 3rd should be a respectable result, we were disappointed with how we performed and didn’t feel like celebrating the outcome. However the timing is ideal, as our frustration has given us a little push to amp up our game. We’ve come out of it motivated to work harder and smarter for Worlds, our peak event in late September.
After Euro’s we had a week off from sailing training and had a blast with our Danish friends and European champions, Ida and Marie. They showed us around Copenhagen and it was really nice to be with them in a non-sailing environment! We then made our way down to Scheveningen, Holland where we are doing a 2 week training block with the two Dutch teams.
So we are now back into action, with productive days, joining in with the group circuits, watching video footage and long hours on the water. It feels like were gaining a lot from our time here, while having a few laughs along the way. The Dutch girls know how to have fun! We are looking forward to the next 6 day training block, where we are trying to replicate a regatta amount of time on the water.
From Holland we will be back in NZ for a month of training where we will continue to work on a few things including learning how to love sailing as close to shore as possible! Bring on the shifts!
From surprisingly sunny Holland, we thank you for the support!
Molly & Alex