Red Bull 49erFX: Heading for home after Garda Eurosaf Olympic week

NZL Sailing Team - 49erFX - 2014 EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Regatta, Lake Garda, Italy
Red Bull 49erFX team of Molly Meech and Alex Maloney report on the ISAF World Sailing Cup Hyeres


The final week in Europe has been a tiring week. As expected, the Eurosaf Championship, held in Riva Del Garda, Italy, turned on the breeze this week, the steady wind allowed us to sail a consistent regatta and finish our tour with a second place.

With the breeze funnelling down between the snow-capped mountains that surround the lake, our race strategy each day turned out to be simple - executing it was another story. The races turned out to be a hectic speed-race to the cliffs near the right-hand end of the start line, the fleet picked its way up the cliff-line until we reached the top mark.

On the last day we sailed well, except for one mistake in each race, which pushed us back into second position. Two capsizes in big gusts, and then a poor judgement call on our part in some close boat-on-boat action with our Brazilian friends, right on the finish line, lead to our first and hopefully last disqualification.

Overall we are happy with how we sailed this week. Our starting has come a long way since the start of this European block, and we were satisfied with how we executed them in this event. We know we still have a lot to improve on, but this trip has given us more confidence around lots of aspects of our sailing.

This tour has been a trip filled with ups, downs and some big lessons, and we are heading home content with what we have achieved. It’s good to know where we stand among the European fleet, and to be able to identify our weaknesses as well as strengths, so that we know what to work on back home.

We are really excited to be getting back to New Zealand. This trip has been great, we have learnt a lot, enjoyed our time exploring some amazing places, and have done a heap of sailing. However, we are looking forward to being based back home for the coming five weeks. It will be great to be back in our own beds, to have time to catch up with friends, and also for Molly to catch up on some Uni work. We have planned a few weeks off, followed by a block back on the water in the NZ winter.

Next up for us are the Europeans Championships, one of the biggest events this year for the 49erFX fleet. It is to be held in Helsinki, Finland on the 8-13th of July. This event will then be followed up by a test event in the Olympic venue, Rio.

So there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months, but now we are in the final check-off stages here in Europe. Dropping boats at the YNZ storage unit in Barcelona, taking the tow bar off our great Peugeot Eurolease, and finally hoping on a flight home! Here’s to hoping time will fly, and we will be home in no time.

For previous blogs from Alex and Molly click here