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Tough Day for Ireland's Brewster & Tidey at 49erfx Worlds

21st November 2015

A difficult penultimate day yesterday leaves Royal Irish Yacht Club pair Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey with a mountain to climb if they are to win a prized Rio berth in the final day of competition at the 49erfx World Championships in Argentina today.

With four races left to sail the Irish debutantes are lying 23rd overall and crucially seventh nation in the hunt for only three Olympic spots. Countries ahead of them also looking to qualify sit just outside of the top ten. Singapore (11), Argentina (13), Norway (15), USA (17) and Canada (19) all sit just inside the top twenty. Results are here

Despite earning a superb fifth place in the final gold fleet race yesterday, the Dun Laoghaire duo are 27 points adrift of the last Rio berth on offer after also scoring a 23, 25 and (UFD) for a start line infringement in race 11.

Very long and difficult day for us on the racecourse ...Last day of the Worlds tomorrow to give it our best! 🇮󾓨

Posted by Brewster/Tidey IRL 49erfx Sailing on Friday, 20 November 2015

The FX fleet saw some challenges across the board today with shifty conditions toying with a lot of the sailors mental games. Leading for most of the regatta, Danish team Neilson/Olsen had been knocked out of 1st and into 2nd by the start of the final race in today’s sequence. Marie Olsen noted that today was definitely a tricky one for the two Danes, finishing well into the teens for two out of the four races today. The past world champions Brazil’s own Grael/Kunze, who had a slow start early on in the regatta but have found their groove as the first three races of the day they’ve finished in either 1st or 4th. The pair was knocked back into 2nd by Neilson/Olsen as they finished one point ahead in the last race for the day. Four points separate the two boats, but the two boats have been biting at each other’s heels.

Rounding out the top five are Italy’s Conti/Clapcich in 3rd; Great Britain’s Dobson/Ainsworth in 4t; and finally Hansen/Salskov-Iversen in 5th sitting just one point apart from the 6th place Spanish team of Echegoyen/Betanzos.

The British ladies, Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth, were sitting in tenth going into the day, but decided early on they wouldn’t be sitting there for long. Sophie Ainsworth commented, “We said today when we got out there that it was going to be a really tricky day and that we hoped we were wearing our ‘Jagger’ pants. It’s pretty much how we summed up the day, because you know you can try and make your own luck, but sometimes you get dealt a better hand.” Better hand indeed for these two, apart from their final race of the day in which they took a bit of a digger into 21st, the pair sailed their own races and finished 5th, 1st, and 3rd. These two were definitely wearing their Jagger pants, Mick would be proud!

The Danish pair, Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen, who were sitting in 4th going into today, only dropping one place felt the mental pangs early on starting off with a 16th. The shifty conditions and uneven pressure were getting ahold of Hansen’s mental confidence and affecting her style. She notes, “It was tough mentally like, trying to see the right things, trying to make the right decisions, that was really tough because maybe sometimes when you look at other boats it seems like ‘ok left is going really good, oh no, now right is going really good,’ it was difficult to choose.”

The ladies both decided to stop trying to reinvent their style and stick to what they know works – clean starts and getting ahead of the pack early to be able to control what they wanted to do instead of being controlled. When asked about what why she felt she couldn’t start the day on the right track Hansen also mentions, “We were a bit too reserved today in the starts, and normally thats not like us.” The last race Hansen was able to let her aggressive side out and get off the line enabling the pair to win the start and finish 2nd overall.

Published in Olympic
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