Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 1 J22 World Championships

Difficult 1st day; Mid fleet
(By Edgar Westerhuys USA 1503 = NED 1360) - Have you ever been dreaming that you wanted to run away but couldn’t? That you needed to run, and your legs were moving, but you stayed at the same place? This happened to us today on the course!

Today was a beautiful day, if you were just here for your holiday.. then this would have been a perfect day. Knowing light weather is NOT our cup of tea and knowing we’re here to win, this day was far from perfect for us.

The day started light, which made reaching the course in time already a challenge. Luckily the committee postponed the race halfway through the starting sequence, which gave us some air to prepare for the race. After a while the wind increased a bit to nearly 6 knots at the start.

In the first upwind leg we choose the right side of the starting lane and headed through the center towards the upwind mark. At times it looked really bad, with boats passing us from the far left and far right, at other times it looked really great. This 1.7 mile / 40 min upwind leg was already a thriller. When we reached the first mark we were at approximately 30th position, so far so good.

At three quarter of the second upwind leg, sailing turned from a physical into a mental game when the wind died to only 2 knots… Just when we thought we were doing fine, it turned bad! There was no wind at all, at least not where we were. From that moment we had at least 45 minutes to go with no wind. Imagine the constant flogging of the sails on the bypassing waves, imagine a spinnaker hanging from the mast like a leave of salad way passed the “best before” date written on its package. The race turned from a thriller into a horror movie.

Maybe it was god’s sympathy for us, but we were the last boat to finish within the time limit. Glad to have finished, not too happy with the results. Glad the two other scheduled races were cancelled, unhappy with the start of the championship. While returning to the harbour we wished each other more wind in the following days! - Edgar Westerhuys

Rank Boat Name Owner / Skipper Sail No. BowNo.
1 Hot Toddy Jeffrey Todd 1329 29
2 Thunder Chicken Jim Barnash 1207 89
3 USA 744 Fred Hunger 744 43
4 Fashionably Late Kiki Werner 354 105
5 Mo' Money Kevin Doyle 489 62