Red Bull 49erFX: Postponements, podiums and perilous peaks

49erFX medalists Day 7 - Aqueece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014
ISAF ©
Red Bull 49erFX team of Molly Meech and Alex Maloney report on the Olympic Test Event at Rio

‘Patience’ was the buzzword for our first competition in Rio. Only three days of racing out of the scheduled five meant some long days in the boat park and a lot of waiting. The week dragged by a little, though that was forgotten when we stood on the podium again in second place.

The time spent on the bay racing has been mentally straining. Being switched on to pick up on all the subtleties of the course and making sure communication was up to scratch were high on our list of priorities. Whether it was talking about the random gusts, the obstacles and plastic bags in the water or just trying to yell at each other while a low flying plane was landing or taking off.

The planes especially have added a new dimension to the races near the medal-race course, which is the closest to the shore.

When they take off, we were left with roughly ten seconds where we couldn’t hear each other. It could be very interesting if it happens in the crucial last 30 seconds till the start.

With so many factors affecting the regatta out on the bay, we found racing this week tricky, with massive gains and losses to be made in every race. We thought that getting on the lift and trying to connect the pressure was the most-important thing to round the top in a good position. All the while trying to keep the boat up to speed through the transitions between the gusts and lulls.

Putting everything together was quite hard, and it is going to take some more practice to get it close to perfect.

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49erFX - Day 7 - Aqueece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014
ISAF ©