On days two and three of the 2013 SAP 49er and 49erFX European Championships there were trying conditions. More breeze and heavy rain drained competitors of everything they had while very little wind at the start of the day three made for a six hour wait on the water before the first race got off. Team Mori/Barnes posted a 15, 18, 21 and 19 on day two, just ahead of Ladha/Inkpen who scored 15, 20, 22, 15. Both placed in silver fleet. Royal Canadian's Ferguson twins Arthur and John posted 27, 24, 20 and 27, moving them to bronze fleet for today's racing.
Day 2 - 49er and 49erFX Europeans 2013
At the start of Silver Fleet, drifter conditions and blood thirsty boats saw more than half the fleet OCS, including both Canadians.
John Ladha's thoughts on day two - 'We know the taste of familiar defeat, but we do it to ourselves. Our coach said that we set ourselves up for this because on the back of gold fleet in Kiel, success in North America and eyes bigger than appetites. He has been saying all along that this fleet is going to be way different. Every top team in the world is on this start line, which by the way is much smaller than Kiel's line. So our performance goal one of qualifying to gold fleet has definitely not been reached, and we are having difficulty with our process goal of starting which is the most important goal for our peaking event at the end of the summer, the World Championships. Coming in late on port and tacking in to a hole is a good technique because you get to see the big picture of how the packs of boats are situated on the line, you get to look upwind clearly without being stuck in boat on boat battles 2 minutes before the race even starts Yes coming in late on port worked well in Kiel. Here there are holes to find, but there's only one or two and they tend to be near the the top teams because they are the best at creating space and also nobody wants to start near them.
As for the racing it was about 15 knots and big steep waves. Pretty amazing conditions for the 49er. Downwind we'd not throttle back enough when we should and consequently smash the bow into the back of a wave and upwind we'd often dial in pretty good, but on the back of a bad start it's an impossible task to claw back to the top of the fleet. One time we were picked up by a wave, taken off the boat, turned upside down and smashed right back on the boat. Amazingly it was still going pretty fast and didn't wipe out and as Dan was picking himself up off the wires I was dragging up side down yelling 'it's ok, we're ok' as I gargled the ocean! All we could do is laugh...haha.
So yes we deserve to be deep in silver fleet, but there a lot of guys in there that shouldn't be, like the 49er silver medalist at the 2009 World Championships, 470 Olympic silver medalist 2012, and the Tornado class Olympic gold medalists from 2004. Our final series goals remain the same for the event, good starts, and to move up the score sheet.'
Racing will continue tomorrow. hoping for more wind and better results.