After Shaun and I had completed our two events in Europe we traveled straight from the ISAF Youth Worlds in Tavira Portugal to Kingston Canada, where we were competing in the Open 29er Worlds. We arrived six days before the regatta started to give us plenty of time to observe the conditions and line up the our fellow Aussies. First we unloaded our boat from the container, as it had come directly from Kiel after the Europeans. Thankfully it did not need much setting up as we had spent two days on it before the Europeans, replacing all the ropes and blocks with ones of our own that we, with the help of our coach Traks Gordon, had prepared prior to leaving Australia. We had a day to rest and recover from jet lag before our first training session.
The next day we hit the water to watch some of the racing at the north American Champs. This gave us valuable insight into the local conditions, and for the next three days we sailed in a range of different conditions. A day before the event officially started we decided to have a day off and had a game of golf with some of the boys from the team. It was definitely nice to get away from the sailing scene before the event started. Saturday we weighed and registered then had a quick sail in the first good breeze we had had the whole trip.
The next day, Sunday, was the practice race, we gained some good start line practice while getting our heads around the race committee. Again we had good breeze and quick pace. After the practice race we had the opening ceremony, were we upheld the true Aussie spirit; flying our flags - and the boxing gloved kangaroo, and playing down under with pride.
The regatta began with strong, offshore wind and rain. In the first race we were over the line at the start but went back and, with very good speed, sailed through the fleet to finish third, we also finished the second race third and were winning the third race by a large margin but were unfortunately caught by our great mates and rivals, Kurt Hansen and Harry Morton, who went on to win the regatta. We also had a good fourth race but were unfortunately scored OCS.
The next day the wind was lighter and from the SW - the sea breeze direction. We had a mixed day, posting a 7th, 9th, 4th and 10th. We sailed well but couldnʼt get off the start line in good shape, which left us playing catch-up a lot. This left us in sixth with two races to go in qualifying. The next day we had the same breeze from the SW. We had a good start in the first race but couldnʼt tack and cross which left us pinned out to the wrong side both times, and thus we had our second drop. The next race we played tthe shifts well and came 2nd, which left us qualifying in 5th.
The first day of the final series was windy from the SW. As before in the breeze we had very good boat sped but couldnʼt get off the line, we had a 5th, 4th, and 8th where we snapped our tiller extension midway through and another 4th. This meant we were going into the next day sitting in 2nd and carrying the blue dot.
Day two was forecast to be windy again, but unfortunately the forecasters were wrong. We had 5-10 knots from the S. Again today we struggled with starts, and we not able to get to the favored left, giving us some bad results: 11th, 19th, 15th, and 7th, which dropped us back to 5th with two races scheduled for the last day.
The last day brought us very little wind - around 4 knots. While we waited for it to come in we had some mini races with half the fleet sailing one-up. When the race committee 29er World Championships 2014 - Kingston Canada decided to race it was only about 5 knots. We didnʼt have the best start and ended up coming 17th. The next race we won the start but our weight let us down and we were about 4th last to the top mark. We had good boat speed downwind and overtook half the fleet.
We read the shifts well on the next upwind and ended up coming 7th. This was a good result but wasnʼt enough to make up for our bad one and put us in 8th overall, 3 points off 3rd.
While we did not get the results we wanted, we learnt a huge amount and had a great experience. We would like to thank RPAYC for their continued support and we will also continue to support the club as best we can.
Kind regards Jim
29er World Championships 2014 - Kingston Canada