Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign
Cagliari, 3rd time’s a charm
After 2 absolutely brilliant camps out in Cagliari working on boatspeed our last camp did not go exactly to plan. We choose to miss Palma Regatta for the first time since we started sailing the 49er back in 2007, mainly to get a decent amount of time to work on speed. Something that the kiwis currently have and no one else can come close.
On our way back to Cagliari for our final training camp we had been checking in on the forecast, which safe to say was looking like it was going to be fairly breezy. In fact it was looking like the Mistral was coming… The Mistral is a famous breeze in the Med which blows down from France and when it blows, it blows! Normally it lasts for 3/4 days, is generally over 30 knots most of the time and is very sunny. This time was no different!
We managed to get out on the first day just as the Mistral was establishing for a few hours before it got too windy for us to handle. Then we spent the next 3 days waking up early, which is the only time there is a chance to get out during the Mistral, only to be disappointed by 40-50 knots each day! We made use of our time spent off the water, exploring Sardinia, getting the boat ready for Hyeres World Cup and working on our fitness.
Finally the wind moderated enough for us to get out on day 5 for a big fresh boat handling session. Along with the boatspeed, our main other work on was rock solid boathandling in the breeze. Although you can not win a race with it, you certainly can stop loosing races and precious points that are so hard fought over in the lighter races.
The next couple of days it was much of the same; sharpening up our movement across the boat, dialing my steering in during the manoeuvres and keeping us working well as a team during the difficult and intense racing. We were looking good in the racing and certainly going faster than we ever have done against the group of boats we were with. As ever though, we will not truly know where we are until we go racing in Hyeres. The Hyere’s Sailing World Cup starts next monday (20th April) and is the first of the 2 SWC that will be held in Europe. Its also our first opportunity to race against the Kiwi’s and hence find out if we have made a speed gain.
Exciting times ahead thats for sure and hopefully our next blog will include a tidy result in Hyeres.