Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails  Got Tough

Red Bull 49erFX- Getting into the World Cup Hyeres

by Molly Meech and Alex Maloney on 26 Apr 2014
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech at the head of the 49erFX - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, France Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
Red Bull 49erFX team of Molly Meech and Alex Maloney report ahead of the ISAF World Sailing Cup Hyeres


A week on tour disappears so quickly. Here in Hyeres, France, we have got back into our on and off the water routines, and settled into being in another new location. Life in Hyeres goes by at a different pace - we are enjoying the laid back atmosphere of this sleepy little seaside town compared to Palma’s main tourist strip. There is a slower, safer feel here, which both of us are appreciating.

Our first day of training with the French girls, Julie and Sarah went well. The changing conditions kept us thinking and constantly tuning the boat and rig. We launched in 20 knots, and finished the day crouching in super-light wind. It was a good day, both teams pushed each other hard, and we were looking forward to the rest of the week.

Since we hadn’t had a full break since our last regatta, we have been careful not to overdo the training. Our goal is to be in sync and on form for the first day of the event, but with plenty of fuel in the tank.

With this in mind, we had planned to take Wednesday off, and rejoin with the French girls the next day. While we were out and about that day, we noticed the breeze had kicked in quite nicely and that a lot of the skiffs were coming in with sails down. That is always a clear sign that things have got on the more hectic side.

That evening we were pretty sad to receive an email from the French that they were unable to train with us for the rest of the week, as Sarah had sprained her ankle badly. She had got stuck in the foot strap and they wanted to give it as much time as possible to heal before the start of the event.

For those newer to the skiff sailing lingo, let us explain the whole tricky business of foot straps. They are strong loops on the end of both our wings, which we secure our feet in while sailing downwind in moderate to windy conditions, similar to those on windsurfers. They are saviours, without them we would be nose diving and slipping forward constantly, yet at the same time they can be our very worst nightmare. If things go bad suddenly, many girls have been the victims of bad ankle injuries as they are unable to get their feet out in time.

All sports have their scary aspects, and during a bad capsize, getting your foot stuck would be up there for FX sailors. Fortunately, touch wood, we haven’t had a close call....but we fully sympathize with the French, as we understand it could happen to anyone. Sadly, Julie told us that they are out for this event. On the bright side - her ankle is likely to heal quickly, so we are sure they will be back at the next FX event!

For the rest of the training week, we joined in with our Brazilian friends, and later the rest of the fleet for some practise racing. We really enjoyed getting our heads back into racing and it is great to see how open the FX fleet is to training with one another. We must say that Javi, the Brazilian coach, makes an excellent race officer!!

Saturday off from sailing was a pretty cruisy day, doing whatever our hearts desired. It is amazing, the concept of time seems to change on days off. In New Zealand, even on a rest day there are still usually things to get done, meetings to attend. When you’re overseas as an athlete, one of the main things to appreciate, is that you can focus more on the business side of your sport. Your only real responsibilities are fitness, sailing, and making sure your boat is in tip top condition. Having less things to cram into one day is very refreshing!

So on our last rest day in Hyeres before the competition started, Molly was a domestic goddess making cupcakes for her someone special’s birthday, chipping away at Uni work, and checking out the old town. Alex doesn’t exactly recall where her day went, getting a little lost in time. Yoga in the sun, biking to a new beach, and taking an afternoon siesta with a good book were all mixed into the day. As cheesy as it sounds, finding the simple pleasures is sometimes easier, when away from the hectic side of being back home.

While it is nice to be away competing, there is still no place better than New Zealand. It is awesome being on the road, but you do tend to miss some homely comforts. Whether it is a quiet coffee with friends, a bear hug from your parents, or most especially, your own bed. However the odd spring, digging into your back at night, is a small price to pay for the great adventures of Europe and sailing experiences we get overseas competing.

So after a week of fitness, sailing, and a bit of relaxing, we are feeling good going into this event. Starting fresh, we are looking forward to putting some of our key learning into practise. The forecast is looking like there will be a range of conditions, so it will be a perfect week to get some good racing experience under the belt. Ready to rock and roll!


Follow our progress here during the Hyeres ISAF World Cup event.
Harken and FostersAbsolute MarineBailey Insurance

Related Articles

Bayleys NZ Laser Nationals - A snowy backdrop to Day 2 at Taupo
In the Open there is a fantastic contest developing between the NZL and Chinese teams. Fresh snow overnight on the mountains at the southern end of Lake Taupo and a moderate SW breeze meant that sailors arriving at the yacht club this morning were greeted by bracing temperatures. In the Open there is a fantastic contest developing between the NZL and Chinese teams. New Zealand sailors are 1,3, 5 and 7 at the end of day 2 with the Chinese team 2, 4, 6 and eighth.
Posted on 20 Jan
RNZYS seek Sailing Coach - join the world's leading Youth Program
This new role has been created to assist in the improvement and expansion of the RNZYS training programmes. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is one of the most successful Yacht Clubs in the world and continues to be on the forefront of modern sailing. This new role has been created to assist in the improvement and expansion of the RNZYS training programmes. Reporting to the Sailing Director and Training Manager this role is critical to the core operations of the club.
Posted on 20 Jan
Preparation well under way for Two Handed Round North Island Race
With less than six weeks till they cross the start line, 29 boats have their preparation well underway With less than six weeks till they cross the start line, 29 boats have their preparation well underway for the 2017 SSANZ Two Handed Round North Island race. This 1200nm race starts Saturday February 25 at 1400hrs off Devonport Wharf and the boats will race Leg 1 to Mangonui, Leg 2 finishing in Wellington, Leg 3 to Napier and the final leg finishing back in Auckland approximately two weeks later.
Posted on 19 Jan
Bayleys NZ Laser Nationals - China shines on Day 1
Three Chinese crews are in the top five after Day 1 of the Open Laser division at the 2017 Bayleys Laser Nationals Three Chinese crews are in the top five overall after Day 1 of the Open Laser division at the 2017 Bayleys Laser NZ Nationals being held at Lake Taupo. Fresh winds from the westerly quarter provided ideal but challenging conditions for the first day.
Posted on 19 Jan
Record fleet for Bayleys NZ Laser Nationals, Lake Taupo Yacht Club
There is just over a week to go until the start of the 2017 Laser Nationals at Lake Taupo There is just over a week to go until the start of the 2017 Laser Nationals at Lake Taupo, which is shaping up to have a near record sized 120+ fleet. There are very strong Masters entries ahead of the upcoming World Masters Games, good Youth entries for the Radial and an interesting mix of NZL squad sailors, other kiwis aspirants and several overseas sailors due to compete in the Standard Open di
Posted on 13 Jan
Halberg Awards - Yachties to go head to head in Team award
Two top New Zealand Olympic crews have been pitted against each other in the Team category in the 2016 Halberg Awards. Two top New Zealand Olympic crews have been pitted against each other in the Team category in the 2016 Halberg Awards. Hamish Willcox is also nominated in the Coach category.
Posted on 11 Jan
Aleh looking for new partner for Tokyo Olympics
Jo Aleh is getting used to the fact Polly Powrie won’t be alongside her for the next Olympic campaign Jo Aleh is getting used to the fact Polly Powrie won’t be alongside her for the next Olympic campaign and admits it will be strange when she next jumps in a 470 dinghy and her long-time partner is missing. Powrie last week announced her retirement from Olympic sailing, ending a successful eight-year partnership with Aleh in the women’s 470. The pair won world and Olympic titles and in 2013 were
Posted on 11 Jan
Olympic medallists lining up for Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta
The Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta represents the first time the Olympic silver medallists will sailed the 49erFX For Molly Meech and Alex Maloney, next month’s Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta represents the first time the Olympic silver medallists will have jumped back in the 49erFX since the Rio Games. The pair took an extended break after finishing second at the Olympics, giving them time to reassess their last campaign and look ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Posted on 11 Jan
Milestone Year for Bay of Islands Sailing Week
The year 2017 will be a special one for Bay of Islands Sailing Week, as the biggest regatta of its kind in New Zealand t The year 2017 will be a special one for Bay of Islands Sailing Week, as the biggest regatta of its kind in New Zealand turns 15 years old this month. The first ever Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta was held in 2003, with 39 boats competing across four divisions.
Posted on 10 Jan
Harcourts Paremata P Class- Images from the Tauranga Cup
Images from the Harcourts Paremata Tauranga Cup sailed from Plimmerton Boating Club , in Wellington. Images from the Harcourts Paremata Tauranga Cup sailed from Plimmerton Boating Club , in Wellington. Sailing in Cook Strait this is one of the more daunting venues in New Zealand, and provided a good test for the young sailors, who follow in the footsteps of some of New Zealand's top sailors who have won the Tauranga or Tanner Cups.
Posted on 8 Jan