Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A inside look at the US 470 Trials

Photo: Winning Race #7, Photo credit R. Roberts.
Update from Mikee Anderson-Mitterling & Dave Hughes USA 1734
Thank you to all for the constant stream of emails and words of support. It has been a hard Trials thus far. Two races per day. Four days of racing are done; four to go. Lay day today. We haven't been on our 'A' game. However, anything can happen and we're excited to change the pace of things in the 2nd half of the regatta.

Day #1 was a good day. The light air opening race went inverted and we found ourselves 2nd to last. We ground back to 5th - certainly a great result all told. The 2nd race we won by a half of a leg. Good day.

Day #2 wasn't so good. We started with a 7th after getting caught between many different boat-on-boat battles. The Trials format of men and women racing together has created alliances and forms of team racing tend to pop out now and again. This is quite unfortunate, but it is also what we expected when the combo Trials was announced. We needed a top-3 to get back in the regatta and that's what we did for race #4 - 3rd.

Day #3 became a match race. We ended up with a 4-4. Again, not what we needed, but our starts we're what we needed to execute our own game plan on the first beat. Big shifts meant drag racing. The breeze strength was such that all boats went roughly the same speed, so a speed advantage couldn't really save us. Still not a bad day, but we needed to execute better.

Day #4 was our day. The breeze came up. We held a good lane of the start just to lee of Stu, forcing him to bail and duck boats. We got to the top mark in 3rd with a nice lefty and rolled a boat on the reach. We worked hard downwind to pass the other two and won the race. In the 2nd race we were caught on the left in a 20 degree shift. Not good. However, our speed allowed us to get back in race. On the final downwind, we gybe-set and used our speed to pick up another 15 lengths for a comfortable 2nd place finish as we approached the final mark. Luck, however, wasn't on our side. A garbage bag got stuck on our rudder causing the rudder to stall. We capsized instantly with the kite up and recovered to a 5th place. Good considering a capsize, but a 2nd place would have gained us three precious points on our competition.

From Long Beach,

Mikee Anderson-Mitterling & Dave Hughes