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Kingston sailor 14th at world championship

September 17, 2014

Surviving a bit of misadventure, Kingston’s Danielle Boyd and skipper Erin Rafuse of Halifax stand 14th after three races in women’s 49erFX division of the International Sailing Federation world championships in Santander, Spain.

As they write on their website (, the women were in the process of re-rigging their boat after going through the measurement inspection Saturday, when they decided to repair its rudder case.

Afterwards, “we tested to make sure the rudder fit,” they wrote, but as they did, the rudder began to split apart at the seams.

“As we stared at each other in shock,” they continued, Duncan Hepplewhite of Ovington Boats came to their rescue. “He was sold out of rudders but helped us get one.”

With the backup rudder from a British boat installed, the Canadians took to the water Sunday for practice but as they were returning to shore, they had “a minor incident” with a launch boat that left them with a hole in their boat’s bow.

“After some panic, disbelief and laughter, we were saved once again by Duncan,” who, with their coach, Mark Asquith, made the necessary repair to get the sailors back on the water for the start of racing Tuesday.

The impromptu fixes appeared not to impair the Canadians, as Rafuse and Boyd finished second in the first race, to Denmark’s Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen. Later in the day, however, Rafuse and Boyd finished 19th, almost two minutes after the race winners, Britain’s Kate Macgregor and Katrina Best, and then they were disqualified from the third race of the day.

That leaves them with 21 points—the DSQ is discarded— 14th overall and first among the three Canadian boats in the 28-boat Gold fleet.

Arielle Morgan and Heather Myatt, whose best race finish Tuesday was seventh place, stand 17th overall, while Erin Berry and Ingrid Merry are 24th, having a 17th-place finish as their best performance thus far.

The Danish crew, so far never worse than fifth, lead the fleet going into Wednesday’s sailing with 3.0 points in the Olympic low-scoring system. They’re followed by the Italian crew of Givlia Conti and Freancesca Clapcich, with 6.0 points. Macgregor and Best stand fourth overall.

Tuesday’s third race was won by the French crew of Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard, who hadn’t been better than 20th in their first two races. They’re in 13th place, one spot ahead of Rafuse and Boyd.

Racing resumes today off the north coast of Spain on the water of the Bay of Biscay. Rafuse and Boyd are trying to gain for Canada one of 10 available spots for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


From → Amateur sport

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