Silverline 49ers - DEEP Sailing Update
Dave Evans and Ed Powys
Our trip to Rio began with some long days and a lot of activity, as seems to be the case every time we come here. We are kindly borrowing a boat and mast from our Brazilian friends Thomas and Dante, which needed some tweaking and a personal touch before we could go training. Once sorted we had three great days training in the 'light wind' Olympic venue, which was proving to be anything but! The South American championships began in a building 12 knot sea breeze and we started strongly with a 6,4 scoreline, but were slightly disappointed that a few small errors cost us some points and overshadowed how well we had raced as a whole. By the third race the wind had built to 20 knots and unfortunately our lack of practise since the Worlds showed, with a capsize!
The fleet here is really strong with only about four top teams missing, which made for some fantastic racing. The rest of the regatta was a bit lighter, but still 10-15 knots for the majority. The infamous currents of Guanabara Bay made for some challenging decision making and there was a lot of head scratching at times. The bay here is huge but has a very narrow entrance, with many bays and rivers feeding into it. The result is that the water that floods in doesn't always make it back out with the ebb tide and creates very unpredictable currents - a nightmare for sailing, unless you pick it right and then you look like a champion! We sailed relatively well for the remainder of the races and most importantly worked a lot on the areas for improvement that we highlighted after the Worlds. We were plagued by some small racing errors that turned some top three races into fifth to tenths, but we should be able to iron them out. The end result was 6th, which should improve our World ranking and we are relatively happy, considering the time we took out of the boat and the fact that we were on borrowed kit.
Next up we have another four day regatta - the Intergalactic 49er Championships - a more relaxed regatta, but there will be an equally strong fleet. After that we head back to the UK for a week before continuing our programme in Abu Dhabi at the end of November for the World Cup finals.
Ed & Dave