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  • Writer's pictureEmma Wilson

Marseille World Cup final

After returning from Holland after the Medemblik regatta, I made the decision to compete at the 'World Cup final' - Only the top 20 from the world cup regatta series can go. It was a very high level fleet, smaller than usual, making it interesting!

I had been to Marseille before for the European championships in 2017, if i'm honest, I really didn't like it a lot! But this year was different, we stayed in a different area and found some really cool places. I had 2 days training on the water before the event started to get used to the conditions.

On the first day of racing we had around 7 to 14 knots with the wind coming off some big hills! It was pretty crazy racing, you could go from 1st to last very quickly - (i did that a few times!!!) I had an ok day, it wasn't great but I survived the day, it could have been a lot, lot, worse!!! I was around 8th overall.

tight racing!

The second day of racing we had similar wind direction and our first race was super light and shifty, with the wind trying to decide where it wanted to come from. I made a few too many mistakes and finished 11th in that race. My next 2 races were much better! The wind became slightly more consistent and I was leading both of the races, in the end I got a 2nd and a 1st, a great way to finish off the day! After day 2 , I was in 4th position.

I am closest to the bottom of picture - a nice start for me!

Day 3, and it just didn't stop raining!! Unfortunatly the wind never came either, we spent 2 hours waiting around on the water, but in the end the race committee had to cancel the races for that day.

concentration face!!

Day 4, the sun was back out, and a lovely breeze, around 8 to 12 knots appeared just after 12pm. It was a great day on the water. In the first race of the day, I didn't have a great start but made some good tactics on the first beat and rounded the top mark 4th. I gained 2 places on the reach but then managed to fall in twice on the downwind (quite a special manouvre in 10 knots, whoopss!!!!) After my little dip in the sea to practice my swimming, I dropped back to around 7th/8th. Luckily I had another great upwind, rounded 4th and then gaining another place on the downwind to finish the race in 3rd place.

The next race I had a much better start rounding the top mark in 2nd and with some good decisions and speed I managed to win that race! I was super happy to win another race! Finally the last race of the day, slightly windier making decisions a bit harder. I had another really good start and rounded the top mark in 6th. Unfortunatly on the downwind I hit some rubbish in the water - it stopped me dead, I couldn't move, I quickly managed to turn around, reverse and it came off my fin. I lost around 6 places but I knew it wasn't over, the next upwind, I made some big mistakes and lost some more places, and ended up in 15th - not the ending of the day I was hoping for but I had to be happy with my first 2 races. After day 4 , I was sitting in 3rd position - with the points super close.

After the final race of the day

Day 5, we just had a double points medal race on this day, the points were so close that anyone in the top 8 could win a medal. The worst I could finish was 9th, and I was 6 points off 1st place. After some waiting around the medal race started in 6 to 9 knots of wind. I didn't have a good start, so was forced to the un favoured side where there wasn't as much wind - I rounded in last position.

medal race start

I had a good downwind and caught up a lot of distance but then at the bottom mark my mast track (something quite essential that we adjust at every mark) got stuck, after faffing around trying to make it work, I eventually managed to move it halfway up the upwind. Annoyingly I lost a lot of distance. I rounded the top mark again in last place, I gained 1 place on the downwind but it wasn't enough - racing against the top girls in the world you need to get everything right, I just made too many mistakes in that race.

mid race

It hurt a lot, knowing I was so close to my first international senior medal, and just a few too many mistakes in the final race, dropped me from 3rd to 6th. Tough, but good lessons to learn. Now I am back in England to start training hard in preparation for the big event of the year. The World Championships are in Denmark in August...!!!

Thank you to everyone who supports me and believes in me!

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