Womens World 49erFX Champion crew of Alex Maloney and Molly Meech report on their build up at Palma, Spain, for the next round of the ISAF World Cup, currently underway:
The travelling and training is done, it’s finally time for racing. We are finally underway in our first European regatta for 2014, the ISAF World Cup Event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
The last week of our build up smoothed out nicely after a bumpy first few days here in Palma. Our car is fixed, thanks to the excellent and speedy work of the Peugeot Garage in Palma. We also had successful purchases in the bicycle department for getting to sailing during the regatta. A second-hand road bike for Molly, and a mountain bike, complete with bonus accessory – a front-mounted shopping basket - for Alex. Convenient and stylish. All areas of transport are now fully functional.
Some testing conditions on the water have made for some good racing practice with a building fleet. The wind and waves made it exciting for spectators, but proved difficult onboard for sailors.
The European summer has been dragging its feet a bit. A mid-week dusting of snow on the nearby mountains meant we were wrapping up warm on the water. We are really holding out for the temperatures to build later in the trip.
The last few days leading up to racing were busy with final preparations, big fleet racing, measurement and registration - then a last check over the boat to make sure everything was shipshape and ready for the week of racing ahead.
We had a lovely afternoon off on Saturday with our Danish friends and fellow competitors, who took us into Palma city for some shopping and sightseeing. It’s always good to have some downtime before a race week, however Palma keeps surprising us.
On arrival at our destination, we encountered a strange parking system. A man on the side of the road directed us to an empty car park, which we thought was rather nice of him, only for us to find out from our friends that if we didn’t pay him - he would scratch up our car. An interesting security system, placing a lot of trust in a complete stranger. We decided that paying him a euro was the right thing to do, before paying for a parking ticket.
We have a long week ahead, with three races planed for each day, making up a series of 18 races. Day one was interesting - light winds and a one-way track with limited passing options, putting emphasis on the starts. For us, it was an average day, but highlighted the need for consistency every day.
We are feeling good about the rest of the week, we had good boat speed today and learned from every race. There is nothing like finishing a tricky day off with a 21st Birthday cake for Molly from our Team Manager, Jez.
Time to recharge and get ready for the rest of the week.
Check out the results from Day 1-3, and for the rest of the regatta click here