I14 defending champion expects tight racing in Geelong

Four-time World Champion, Britain’s Archie Massey, expects racing in the 2015 International 14 World Championship at Geelong, Australia, will be tight.

The defending champion joins an already strong entry list which includes ten British teams.

The British held the final top six places at the 2013 World Championships in Toronto and Massey predicts they will do it again with the  podium most likely taken up by Ben McGrane, Glen Truswell and, of course, himself.

“I could not try to predict the order save to say that in the Nationals the three of us were repeatedly within 100 yards for two hour long races.  Normally 14 racing stretches out more than that, so it will be a tough week. 

“Obviously there is some home talent too, which will excel in the stronger conditions of Geelong.  I’d expect to see a return to the top five for Meaty.  Dave A, teaming up with Dan, could be the dark horses.  Brad is always fast, so again if the conditions are right, he may be untouchable.

“I can’t wait and because it’s all going to be so tight and I’m not the favourite. It’s really exciting again,” Massey said.

Some of the large fleet may have been hoping that Massey would miss this championship due to his very newly arrived child and a forced change in crew.  “They wish,” joked Massey.

“I think it’s your duty to try and defend a crown, so hopefully, I’ve got many more worlds to come!  I was always going to come and it provides a good excuse to meet up with friends in Sydney afterwards where I lived for five years. We are bringing over our three-month-old baby, so that makes life a little harder than normal.”

Since moving back to the UK, putting some 20,000 miles between himself and his long-standing crew Dan Wilsdon, Massey has also had to change crew. It has been a disappointment for Massey to leave combination with Wilsdon, but he has bounced back quickly, forming a new partnership with the very experienced 49er sailor and RYA Head of Performance, Harvey Hillary.

“He has a number of tricks up his sleeve.  He lives one kilometre away so we’ve been able to get out on the water together and put some quality time to get up to speed.

“Early season we trained a fair amount, pre-baby and pre Harvey’s Olympic team support duties.  So we’ve got a good grounding.  Our boat-handling is top-notch, but we’ve not quite got the speed of old.  That said we think we may have cracked that in the last few weeks of the UK summer. 

“Our racing has involved a string of seconds, always to Glen Truswell.  When he hasn’t turned up, we’ve won the event.  That said, at the Europeans and Nationals, twice we led by four points into the last day,” Massey said.

 – Tracey Johnstone
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