Over the past 6 months, through tireless hours of training and preparation the opportunity was given to us, Chelsea Connor and Georgia Tuckey. For the chance to compete in the 2014 open 29er World Championships, in Kingston, Canada, on the freshwater lake of Ontario.
The thought of competing on an international stage appeals to many sporty teenagers across the globe as the experience that is gained is often described to change competitor’s perspectives.
When we both had received the opportunity to sail in a large fleet, which we don’t get here in Australia.
We decided that the idea to experience lessons learned and to have the opportunity to race against sailors from all over the globe and sail in very different conditions from what we are used to here on Pittwater.
Freshwater sailing proving very different from our local saltwater.
Our time overseas was made up of 2 and half weeks, arriving of the 20th July, and leaving on the 3rd August. The first week aimed to set up our new charter boat, unloading from a container sent from our charter boat operator in Germany, with rigging and explore the lake’s conditions, as well as getting comfortable in the event’s environment. The second week of the trip was a Monday to Saturday regatta of challenging, windy conditions and a mix of racing in different fleets for the qualifying and final rounds. The regatta began on the 26th and finished on the 2nd August. Out of all the 102 entries in the regatta we were one of 17 all girl crews and which only 11 of us were youth.
The regatta consisted of a 3 day qualifying series of 10 races and a final series also with 10 races.
After the qualifiers, we fell into bronze fleet, with an injury on the first day with us only completing 1 out of the 4 races.
The Bronze fleet with sailors of mixed age groups and abilities, which we saw as a great opportunity to race with teams at the same level as ourselves.
Our aim to gain knowledge of racing among other sailors.
On the windy days, it paid to be fit and strong, so our time in the RPAYC gym really helped!
Overall, the regatta showed us challenging conditions with days with lots of breeze to very light shifty conditions on the last day.
It proved an amazing experience for us as a team to take away from many lessons and exposure to the standards of sailing we aim to reach in the future.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the support from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Traks and Objective.
Ultimately the experience of the 29er Worlds has given us the confidence and courage to strive for our goal to one day Qualify for the Youth Worlds in the 29er Skiff.
BY Chelsea Connor & Georgia Tuckey