RS Tera World Championship 2019 Report: Max Steele

In August, the RS Tera World Challenge 2019 finally arrived, in Ljungskile Sweden. It was probably the most fun regatta I have ever been part of, due to the amazing racing on the water as well as the fun off the water.

The winds were generally light the whole week, which are not normally my favourite conditions.  The temperatures varied from wet and chilly to warm and sunny, but always light wind.  Fortunately, I had the benefit of the flexibility of Neil Pryde range to choose from, generally using thicker neoprene for the cold wet days and 1mm neoprene for the warm dry days.  At the end of both the first and second days, I was coming 2nd place overall, with very few points separating me from both 1st and 3rd.

On the 3rd day of sailing however, I was involved in a protest.  A Danish sailor offered to be my witness, but unfortunately, he arrived at the hearing late, although he was very helpful.  Despite losing the protest, I learnt a lot about what it’s like being in a protest room filled with an international jury, the ways the rules are interpreted, and the value of finding your witnesses as soon as possible after coming off the water.  

I put that all behind me, and was determined to catch up to 2nd, or even take the lead.  I had quite a gap in front of 4th place, meaning that I could only gain places.  I had great starts in all the races, spotted the gusts and picked my way up the shifts.  I kept fighting on the 4th day, catching up to 2nd place, but not quite enough to take it.  

I needed one more race to overtake my position on the scoreboard.  I had a fantastic start in the final race, taking advantage of a wind shift in my favour.  Unfortunately, the race officer felt the wind shift was too great, and abandoned the race, which ended racing for the event.  On that final day, I believe I performed the best I have ever performed in a light wind Tera event, especially having become quite big for the boat.  

At the end of it all, I stood on the podium as 2nd boy in the Pro fleet, and again in 3rd place for the overall class, which I am very proud of.

I would like to thank Neil Pryde for their excellent kit, as they let me sit in the most uncomfortable of positions in the boat comfortably, which really helped me keep the boat moving. 


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