As we embarked on our journey, we left Sydney bright and early on Thursday the 19th of June, we both had mixed feeling of Ambition and excitement. We carry our 2.5m long Sailing tube up to the check in desk which held 2 sets of sails, a tiller extension and hiking straps and had a couple of quick photos and said our goodbyes. The first regatta on the tour was the 29er Europeans in Kiel, Germany.
The 29er Europeans was the biggest regatta on the tour and was very exciting, Europeans were conjoined with the iconic Kieler Woche which is an amazing venue from the Audi stage to the Crepes. When we arrived we got our boat which was a new charter that has been cured for 12 months, so nice and stiff. We spend the next 2 days changing, modifying and replacing the hard-ware and ropes on our boat to replicate and make it as close to the boat we sail at home, for these 2 days the weather was wet and windy.
The first day of racing was a nice sunny day with light winds approximately 5knots, the 213 boats was split into 4 separate fleets. We were in yellow fleet and were the closest fleet into shore, which made it shifty and inconsistent. we had a bit of a shaky start with a 6th, but after the first race we got use to the 53 boats on the start line and finished 2nd. After the 2nd race we were sent in to lest blue fleet complete 3 races, so we sat in the sailors lounge playing cards awaiting for further signal. We were sent out for a final race at 6:00pm and we finished 1st with a weak dying breeze.
For the next 2 days of qualifying we sailing consistently and were one of the quickest boats out of the fleet and went into the finals 3rd which was a good position as we have a chance of moving up the leader board. In the first day of finals we scored a 15 which was our discard and a 5th and a 2nd which meant we held our position in 3rd going into the last day. the condition was light shifty offshore breeze we managed in the first race to come 5th which we were very having as we had a combination of good boat speed decision making and good boat speed. the next race was the 2 last for the regatta and we had a great start and were 2nd all the way around the course and if we had put 3 boats in between the Spanish and us and it looked hopeful until they abandon the race with one leg to go due to a wind shift. We were very frustrated by this but we moved on into the next race. the next race was a black flag general which put us out of the regatta as we didn't get a discard in.
In Conclusion the 29er Europeans was a great regatta for us as we knew we were fast and had good boat speed, but the unfortunate events which occurred on the last day sent us from winning the regatta to 9th. Good regatta and we were pumped for the next 2 events, and keen to get back to were we wanted to be. the next day our boat was loaded into a shipping container to be shipped to Kingston, Canada along with 10 other boats.
By Shaun Connor & Jim Colley