Even though the loss in Newport was tough, it we came away with some every specific things to work on which we knew if we could get right we would be a force to be reckoned with come the final in Marstrand. With training hard to come by the team was able to offset some work hours with a few hours on the M32 Cats at home and we managed to nail down a few of the boat handling issues we were having in Newport. Some great coaching from Mikael Lundh we felt ready for the event. Like all things, nothing is perfect and with a week until we flew Patrick our traveller trimmer managed to badly roll his ankle meaning he could not train the week before we left and left us wondering if he would be ok to sail in Sweden. Pat gritted his teeth and we called it would be ok, with some serious anti-inflammatories, lots of ice and strapping tape he got through the regatta like a champ! Our goal for Marstrand was to make it through the qualifying fleet racing stage in the top 3 of our 5 boat pool to avoid the sailoffs for 16-20th. We did this placing 3rd in our group and along the way winning our first fleet race in the new format.
Next up was our super 16 match against one of the favourites, Nicolai Sehested from Denmark and his superstar team. It was rather windy and we managed to dominate all starts to be leading 2-1 going into the 4th race of a first to 3 points series. In the 4th race there was a massive crash between the boats with our boat not being able to keep sailing ending up with us winning the race to put us 3-1 up but there was to be a damage hearing ashore that night. The result of the hearing was we would lose one point and he would lose 2. So the next morning the scores were left at 2–-1 with us on match point and him needing 4 races straight. We managed to knock him off in one tightly fought race to our joy! We then went into the quarter finals against Olympic 49er Gold and Silver Medallist and Volvo Ocean Race Helmsman Iker Martinez and his team. The wind was lighter but we sailed with craft and came from 0-1 down to win 3-1. The team couldn’t believe what we had done, we were into the final day and guaranteed a top 4 finish! Sleeping was hard that night with the excitement but the next morning lay Phil Robertson for the Semi Final.
Unfortunately the team wasn’t quite up to Phil and his team, leading the last race only to get past on the last upwind. We held our heads high and prepared for a 3rd/4th playoff in the now seriously fresh 25-30 knots blowing down the Fjord in Marstrand. The team was up against long-time friend and rival Chris Steele and his 36 Below team from NZ. In both races we were behind off the line but our superior tacking in the strong wind meant we clawed ahead to win both races and finish 2-0 and in 3rd place on the podium!!!!!! Phil Robertson won the event with Taylor Canfield in Second. It was a great last night with our medal presentations, a few celebratory drinks and the single guys (not Matt or Alex) on the team struggling to keep their new Swedish fans away!