Abu Dhabi was one of the most unique places our team has ever seen. From the gorgeous skyline to the pristine water, the venue was a sailors dream and more. When we arrived, we had many things on our tourist bucket list while in the Middle East. The first day was jammed packed with sightseeing, walking around downtown and eventually jumping in a van to a desert safari. We were taken on a wild ride, slipping and sliding through sand dunes, riding camels, wearing traditional garb, eating local cuisine, “snowboarding” down sand dunes and how could we forget the belly dancing? The experience was amazing and we were immersed in the culture from the get-go.
Practice days were limited before the event, as we were forced to take some time off due to injury. Though we were rusty at the start and battled to stay with the top group, we were able to chip away at the starting goals we had set. Each start, we were punched on our surrounding group, while we are improving on our communication on distance to the line and acceleration timing. Fast forward to the medal race day, the points were extremely close with the top five all within two points of each other. It was who beat who with four teams: the British, Chinese, Japanese and Team Haeger/Provancha!
Off the line, we were leading towards the left hand side anticipating a left hand shift. Though it came, we were not able to cross the fleet, forcing us to sail through the shift with our competition tacking off. We rounded the top mark in a disappointing eighth with the Japanese, British, and Chinese rounding in front of us. From there, we battled back to fifth catching boats one by one each leg. All in all, we ended up fourth place, once again shy of a medal. Going into the event we knew the injury was going to hold us back so tried not to focus on the place, but rather our goals of starting and upwind communication.