Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign: ISAF Worlds

We have had a busy few months after competing in the Europeans, Rio Test event and now the ISAF Worlds in Santander. There were plenty logistical challenges of making sure we have the right kit in the right country (or even continent!). To which we did not always get right...

It seems this season we have been cursed with problems; from hitting the reef in Palma that we should really have known about, then we did it again hitting a rock at the Europeans! We thought our event was over, it was race 1 of the event and we were sat on our capsize boat looking at this big hole in our boat and smashed up daggerboard. Then in Rio my knee swelled up from an infected cut back in June, which left me lying in the hotel bed for 6 days. It certainly wasn't much fun and my highlight of the day was getting the daily lowdown from my room mate John Gimson of what been going on outside my hotel room. The rest of the team checked out the Olympic stadium, trekked up to the Christ the Redeemer.

I guess people say things come in 3's so we are hoping for a slightly less stressful event in Santander... But we have learnt from this and it had made us a stronger team as in the past we would never recover from a issues like we have had this season.

Rio had a great atmosphere it was our first time being part of a Pre-Olympic team. The event itself was pretty different to any other regatta we had done before. There was a greater media presence off the water, only 20 boats racing on the water and more so than anything else. a real team feeling. Its hard to explain but everyone in the team tries to help out where they can, the support staff are doing as much as they can to make our lives easier and all in all there is a great atmosphere.

Although we had done some sailing in Rio over the Christmas period the sailing was different with the sea breeze was weaker and it started to get dark by 1630. It meant we had to maximise the breeze and light we had because often you only had a couple of hours of decent breeze and light.

The racing was tricky with lots of tide and an unstable breeze, which meant you really had to pounce on opportunities. Also with the uncertainty of how many races we would end up doing, you always had to keep a close eye on the results. We were very pleased to come away with a Bronze but it's a shame the gods weren't looking down on us at the finish where the Aussies over took the Americans on the line in the last race to give the Aussies the Silver.

After a short break we are out in Santander for 10 days training to get used to the monster swell that rolls in out in the bay! There was plenty of jumping upwind and surfing downwind plus we had some awesome racing inside the harbour.

The coaches organised a regatta where the top 35 boats were invited for 4 days of gold fleet racing. There was a good range of conditions from massive swell and not much wind (which was like rolling around in a washing machine) and other days we had perfect 49er sailing in 15 to 18knts. We cant wait for the worlds to start and if you want to follow us the events website is
http://www.santander2014.com/

Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign: ISAF Worlds