Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 1 Trofeo Princesa Sofia

photo: Nico Martinez
Today we had a leisurely two o’clock start on the Laser racecourse at Palma’s Princess Sofia Regatta. The sun was out but not very strong in the cool 55-degree 8-10 knot southerly that dominated the day. Before today the racing area was mostly flat calm aside from the wake of practicing boats and their accompanying coaches, but upon arrival at C’an Pastilla beach this morning there were breaking waves being ridden by local surfers.

As far as I can tell surfing must be relatively rare in the middle of the Mediterranean, but these guys were making the most of what they had. The impact on the sailors was a nice little swell on the racecourse and a more challenging launching situation, but nothing we couldn’t handle after braving the Terrigal shorebreak last month in Australia.??

If steady breeze makes for good sailing, than today was a great day at the Laser Campaign Office. We had a slight left trend through the afternoon, but nothing that made the racing too uneven. Two 45 minute races around the trapezoid went off without so much as a general recall. The race committee here has last year’s reputation for letting starts go regardless of how much bulge there might be, but I think today’s races were fair. I managed one very nice start to the regatta finishing in the top five in the first race in my half of the split fleet.

The second race saw one of my worst starts in a very long time, and I was forced into a comeback situation. I only was able to just break into the top 12 range by the finish. I had a nice lane sorted and holding for almost a minute leading into the start, and somehow in the final fifteen seconds I lost track of the boats to windward, didn’t pull the trigger as early as I should have and was forced to suffer in bad air waiting to tack out to the right. With some experimentation going on with my starting routine, there are bound to be some mishaps, but not jumping properly for the gun is a blank in execution that should not happen and will not happen again.?????? - Andrew Campbell