THE HARKEN FOSTERS BLOG

JOSH & ANDY TAKE ON EUROPEAN FINN CHAMPS

Josh & Andy Dream Team Update – Spain, April 2018

We are proud to support Josh Junior and Andy Maloney who update us on their efforts in the European Finn regattas.

Since wrapping up our great summer of training back home in NZ, we have been hard at it over in Spain for our first two International Finn events. We began in Cadiz,for the European Championship before moving onto Palma, for the Princess Sofia Regatta. For Josh, the Europeans was his first major Finn event in over 18 months, since the Rio Olympics. For Andy, it was his first European Finn event ever.

 

Our week long build up to the Europeans had about as many set backs and complications we could’ve imagined. Gear not turning up, a broken mast and a destroyed coach boat from a tornado that ripped through Cadiz the morning we arrived, to name a few.

A couple of our training days consisted of only one Finn on the water and taking 20 minute turns swapping in and out of the coach boat, due to our other mast being repaired in the workshop. We mitigated the set backs as best we could and managed to get our two new Finn’s race ready by day one.

 

Cadiz delivered massive swell along with the full range of wind conditions. The one thing that stayed consistent throughout the week of racing was the big swell. As expected, we were both a little rusty when it came to big fleet racing (91 boatson one start line). Good thing we had Andrew Murdoch in Cadiz coaching us and really helping us get our minds back into the big fleet tactics.

 

Andy had his up’s and down’s through the week to finish 11th overall, just missing out on the top 10 medal race. Josh was sailing fast most of the week and finished it off with a win in the medal race, to finish 4th overall. The medal race was 20-25+ knots of wind, with the biggest waves we had seen! All in all, a great start to our campaign and the most important thing is we came away with a great list of areas we could improve moving forward.

 

week and we were in Palma raring to get back on the water for the Princess Sofia Regatta. With a list of things to tick off before racing began we were focused and determined in all of our sessions in the lead up to racing. Josh was testing different sails at this event, and Andy had a new rig in so we were working hard to get dialed in before day one. We made some really good changes to Andy’s setup between the Europeans and the start of Princess Sofia, he had found another gear upwind that we definitely didn’t have in Cadiz.

 The weather gods gave us a range of conditions over the week of racing. A few light days and a couple moderate to windy days. We had much shifter conditions than what we had been racing in for the Europeans, and we both made the mistake of not adjusting our mindset quick enough on day one to the oscillating breeze. Josh struggled with pace all week with the setup he was using, and couldn’t quite do anything right when he was lacking the speed.

Andy on the other hand, was quick across the range and turned his regatta around after day one to post a string of consistent results along with two race wins.

He went into the medal race in 3rd place, which he maintained to walk away with a bronze in his second major Finn event. We took a lot away from the week of racing, knowing Andy’s setup was on point and we could replicate it on Josh’s boat very easily.

This past week we have stayed in Palma and had a great week of testing. We have locked in some fast settings for our new boats, and experimented with our masts to see if we can make gains there. John Cutler coached us for the event and hung around afterwards to lead our testing block, it was a very efficient and productive week. We are really excited heading off to Hyeres tomorrow, with the setup that we currently have knowing that if we sail smart we can both be up on the podium.

Look forward to updating again in May, from NZ!

Josh Junior & Andy Maloney

 

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