Sponsored sailor Charlotte Dobson 's 49erFX report
Allen sponsored sailor Charlotte Dobson reports on the thrills and spills of the 49er FX
Itís been a mega busy spring for us with some great steps forward. After we got back from Miami in Feb, we had a busy week putting together our new ship for the summer, Angelina Maranello, who is fully Allen pimped. We were keen to get our race boats ready as early as possible this year so it was amazing to have both the boats sorted by the end of Feb. We then headed out to Europe for the European World Cups in Palma and Hyeres. After a really solid week we were thrilled to win bronze at Princess Sophia, this was a big milestone for us as it was our first world cup medal as a team and we found an extra speed gear on a couple of the days which was ace. We then went onto Hyeres which was a bit more of a regatta of two halves - we smashed out the first half leading going into finals due to some really good pace in the waves. The second half of the week was offshore and flat and we didnít quite have the boat speed and coupled with an OCS the week kind of stumbled to a close and we finished just outside the medals in 4th. Despite being frustrated with that, we are happy with our World Cup series this Spring of 6th, 3rd, 4th, which saw us 2nd in the World Rankings in March. These performances qualified us for the small team going out to the Olympic Test Event in Rio in August which we canít wait for!!
Since Hyeres itís been a complete 180 from execution phase back into practice. We went out to Lake Garda for a boat handling camp with Ben Rhodes which was amazing. Ben completely changed the processes we have for a lot of our manoeuvres so there was a fair amount of swimming while we got to grips with it. It was a bit unfortunate that we had planned to do the Eurosaf regatta that was the following week - our new manoeuvres were definitely not ready for execution phase! On the results we had a nightmare but in actual fact the week was really good - we got our manoeuvres back up to about 80 % but the last 20 % were pretty wet! Not the ideal way to put together a regatta. Regardless we had a wicked week and learnt loads that weíll keep chipping away at over the next few weeks.
Next stop is Stokes Bay for a couple weeks of equipment testing to pick our Worlds and Test Event kit and then we get into the championships. Europeans are first week of July in Helsinki, then itís the Test Event in Rio in August. The whole year is based around the Worlds in Santander in September - so itís a long summer ahead but we are really excited to get to those pressure events!