After teaming up in late 2016 and competing in a few events here in Australia (plus a lot of training!) we headed to Europe, interested to see how we matched up against the rest of the world.
The first stop was Kiel, Germany for the famous Kieler Woche regatta. We used Kiel Week as a practice event for the Open Worlds which would start only a few weeks later. With 27 boats on the start line it was the perfect way to simulate what we were expecting at worlds and to get some practice in a moderate sized fleet. After a few days of training in light breeze the regatta kicked off. Of course, we sailed most of the event in a completely different weather system, competing in strong breezes which put our skills to the test. Even though we were on the lighter side we managed to pull off a promising 8th overall which we were very happy with.
With Kiel all wrapped up we set off for the road trip of a life time, driving from Kiel in northern Germany, all the way down to Ancona, Italy before getting on a ferry to Greece where the World Championships would be held. We managed to make a few pit stops on the way for a bit of sightseeing before arriving in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The weather in Thessaloniki was certainly a shock to the system, going from the cold waters of Kiel to the 35°C and sunshine of Greece. After a few days of training and climatizing to the sweltering heat we began racing in yet another practice event. This was to give us more time to experience the conditions and to better prepare us for the main event. With a few promising races showing us we had potential we were ready to give it our all.
After a few days off to recharge the batteries the Worlds got underway. We were ecstatic to find ourselves qualifying for gold fleet at the end of the qualifying series. This was our initial goal going into the event, so anything we got from there was just a nice bonus! Going into the first day of gold fleet racing we were expecting strong competition and were not disappointed. It was that day we managed to get two top 10 finishes from two races. This brought us incredibly close to the top 10 overall and we couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately, this was short lived after a black flag scored the very next day but taught us a valuable lesson about consistency and the importance of avoiding letters in the scorecard! We managed a few more decent results which saw us hanging onto the top 20, finishing the event in 20th overall!