Red Bull 49erFX team of Molly Meech and Alex Maloney report on the ISAF World Sailing Cup Hyeres
We have now finished the second regatta of our trip. Hyeres turned on the weather, giving us sun, good winds, waves, and great racing. We were very happy to come away after 18 races in second place overall.
The regatta kicked off with a full fleet of 42 boats on the start line, which proved fairly hectic! The mark roundings were filled with screaming girls, squeezing through small spaces, and quick decisions, leading to some massive gains or losses.
Not to mention the final fight of each day - getting ashore. The fleet of 80 men’s 49ers trying to launch while 40 women’s FX’s attempted to land - on the same six meter ramp - made getting off the water the most stressful part of each day. It always paid to have a good last race - first to the beach, first home!
Alex Mlaoney and Molly Meech 49erFX - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, France - Thom Touw
As the week progressed, the fleet was split into two fleets of 20 boats. Smaller fleets, but stronger competition put the pressure on us to keep the races consistent and clean. We managed to put together a good regatta, improving in our starts and staying composed around the racetrack. We went into this regatta confident in our teamwork and ability to perform. We backed ourselves in decisions, so it’s great to see what we are capable of and we know that there is still a lot of room for improvement. It seemed like more things fell into place for us at this regatta, whereas in Palma, it had been an overall harder regatta where not much went right.
Big congratulations to the Brazilian and Danish teams, who were up on the podium with us, both have been sailing consistently well so far this season. We look forward to coming up against them again in the coming regattas. We can tell that the whole of the FX fleet has improved a lot since the worlds last year, which is great as the competition and racing has got a lot closer and more intense.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech at the head of the 49erFX - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, France - Thom Touw
After a quick pack up in Hyeres, we trekked down the coast through Sunday European traffic, in convoy with multiple sailing teams, to one of the most beautiful places in the world and an interesting place for sailing - Riva Del Garda in northern Italy. With massive cliffs surrounding the long lake, it is breathtaking.
Garda is an exciting place to sail and is renowned for the strong 'Ora' winds that come funnelling down through the steep cliffs from the south in the afternoon. They replace the 'Pelér' northerly winds, which are present from around midnight to late morning. However we are here pretty early on in the season, so we are expecting a mixture of conditions. With snow still icing the mountains, it will definitely be thick wetsuit weather when we get back on the water.
Maloney and Meech, 49erFX medal race - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - © Franck Socha
Garda is the final destination for our first Europe trip. We are having a few days off then building up to a small five day Eurosaf regatta beginning on May 7. During our preparation, we will keep working on our starts, really focusing on the last few minutes of the pre-start, as well as testing out some different boat tuning settings we have been interested in. Other than that, we are keen to use the other boats that are here to get as much racing experience as we can before we head back home. Racing against other FX’s is awesome!
In the coming rest days, we are going to chill out and go exploring around Garda. It’s an amazing spot for being outdoors so hiking, biking, windsurfing, and some time in the snow may all be on the list! We will see where the days and activities take us.
Molly and Alex
Grael and Kunze (BRA) Womens 49erFX - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, France - Thom Touw
Red Bull 49erFX team contest the lead - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, France - Thom Touw
49erFX medal race start - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - © Franck Socha
For more images from Thom Touw, visit Thom's website
For previous blogs from Alex and Molly ckick here