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Top 10 finish for Hudson and Jim at Miami World Cup
- Updated: February 9, 2016
SA’s 2012 Olympic sailors Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson made an impeccable start to their 2016 international campaign by winning the opening race of the first World Cup of the year in Miami last week.
But some technical challenges during the remaining races of the regatta meant the pair could only manage ninth place overall by the end of the competition. And it’s these technicalities Jim and Hudson will be focusing on in the build-up to their next big challenge – the 470 World Championships in Argentina in a fortnight.
‘It felt great to start the Miami World Cup event and the 2016 Olympic circuit season with a race win,’ admitted Hudson.
‘But our overall result was brought down by inconsistency, no question about it. We said going into the event that we would be satisfied with a top 10, happy with a top five and delighted with a medal.
‘Looking back on the event I’d say we had the pace and skills for a top five result and our best races demonstrated this. The reason we didn’t finish top five was primarily on account of a few big mistakes, which really cost us, specifically two OCS starts (over the start line early, effectively disqualifications) and a very poor final race where we made a major tactical error within the first minute of the start which put us in a position that was very hard to recover from.’
Having already ironed out technical deficiencies with their boat and rig set-up to improve overall speed, OCS’s or jumping the gun is something that the South African pair will certainly be working on as they prepare for the Rio Olympic Games this August.
‘First and foremost, starting errors that lead to OCSs have got to be cut out at major events. Miami is famously tricky in terms of the starts because the wind can be very light and the current can be quite strong,’ explained Hudson.
‘This means that while positioning in the pre-start period (five minutes) there is a risk of being swept over the start line while not having enough wind power to manoeuvre and maintain the boat behind the line before the start gun goes.
‘The flipside approach is to be extremely conservative in the pre-start, but starting behind the pack obviously makes the rest of the race very difficult. So starting spot on the line and with maximum pace is a massively important skill but most of all our judgement and focus on the day needs to be 100%.
‘We definitely have the starting skills, but I think our judgement and focus were a shade off at this event in Miami. So that’s what we need to look at going forward.’
Next up for Jim and Hudson is those World Championships, from 22-27 February in Argentina, followed by two events in Spain in March and early April before they head to France.
‘From May to July we will predominantly spend our time getting finely tuned in Rio at the Olympic venue,’ added Hudson.
Picture courtesy of Trevor Wilkins