Thanks again to all our 2913 Double 29er Worlds Campaign contributors,
I just wanted the again express my thanks for all your support last year in our double 29er Worlds campaign tour of Europe 2013.
Without your generous contributions and support, we would not have been able to have transitioned the way we have into the 49erFX and 49ers open classes since our last post. We are still chasing our goals to one day represent Australia at the Olympics, and right now, we are "Happy as Larry".
Since the last post, I have completed the HSC and enrolled at university doing a Sports Science degree.
On the sailing front, our 49er hull and rig from the UK expected to arrive in October actually sailed into Melbourne the day the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne commenced. Missed that one of course and Dad and I unpacked the container only 3 days before the next event in Sydney "“ 2013 Sail Middle Harbour (replacement regatta for cancelled Sail Sydney). We entered under the new name for our boat "“ "Happy as Larry", named after our coach Larry Cargill who worked with us way above and beyond the call of duty (and continues to this day). It didn't leave us much time to work out how to rig it let alone get some sailing on it before our first event in the senior Olympic boat. Things went pretty well and we won that event using an FX rig, which was also the first round of the NSW/ACT State 9er Championships.
Next stop, Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Victoria for the Zhik 2013/14 Australian 9er Championships over Christmas/New Years. Again, we used the FX rig and were the only open entry. All the AST female Olympic campaigners were there, including my sister Olivia and her new crew Eliza; they had just won the World Cup together in their first regatta as a team earlier at Sail Melbourne. We were pretty pleased with our performance, being either "roosters or feather dusters" winning almost half of the races against the girls and placing third overall just behind Olivia and Eliza in second place. It assisted us enormously to use the 49erFX rig as a skill-up for our eventual entry into the 49er in the future.
We returned back to Sydney in January after 4000kms plus and we then flew out to New Zealand to compete in our other sailing discipline, international youth match racing where we finished in third place. We put the pressure on to the eventual winners early in the qualifying series, winning the two round robins. But as match racing works, the scores were zero'd for the finials and we chose to face the second team early in the finals losing on this occasion which left us to race for third place. Plenty of experience gained and then back to Sydney for the last round of the NSW/ACT 9er State Championships in the 49erFX.
We sailed this regatta with a lot more confidence, this regatta consisting of a mixed 49er/49erFX fleet. We were very happy with our progress and even managed to be the second team around the buoys on many laps despite the smaller FX rig. We won the state championships and then unpacked the 49er rig, returning the chartered FX rig back to the AST as we now had to begin our next progression into the 49er.
After a few weeks sailing solo with the 49er rig on Sydney Harbour with our coach Larry guiding us on many occasions, we drove up to Brisbane for the 2014 QLD 9er Championships (also the Sail Brisbane event) where we would for the first time sail against another 49er.
Despite the Sail Brisbane event only having three 49er entries, the competition was high with the aussie training partners to Olympic gold's Outteridge and Jensen allowing us to test out some settings on our boat and begin to work out how to get the boat moving "“ there is an enormous comparative level of setting data to obtain on the 49er from the youth 29er class.
We led a number of legs and races during Sail Brisbane with one win and eventually ended up in second place in our first 49er regatta.
Back down to Sydney, another 1000kms and we are now training for a month with Larry when available before our next European tour in the 49er for 2014, commencing in Germany at Kiel Week in June, then up to Aarhus, Denmark again for the 49er Junior World Championships and then on to our final regatta, the 49er Europeans in Helsinki, Finland.
This month we were awarded a new NSW State Sailing Performance Program Scholarship and selected for membership to the Australian Sailing Squad with a Youth Bridging Scholarship.
Thank you once again and I look forward to further transforming your contributions and support into higher goals and achievement in the next few months.
Happy as Larry - Sail Brisbane
49erFX campaign at R1 NSW/ACT States
49er rig in 1st regatta