Friday, August 22, 2008

J22 Worlds - What a day!

By Edgar Westerhuys:
This is one-design sailing at its best… read on, today we wanted to sail better after yesterday’s very slow doll-drum race, and we did.

Yesterday we heard from a local that Rochester is also referred to as Leftechster… meaning, if you dont know which side of the beat to choose, go left. Today’s first race wasnt that we didnt know where to go, left side of the starting line was favoured and there was more breeze on the left (after waiting for 2 hours), but Leftchester made it even more certain for us: we wanted the left side PIN-end. And we got the PIN-end!!! Best boat off the line with full speed and a possibility to tack on port and cross the WHOLE fleet of 104 other J22s. We didnt do that immediately, sailed our lane on full speed and tacked to the middle when we got headed, crossed all boats. Played the shifts, boat felt really good and the breeze even strengthened to 14 knots (thank god). Other boats came closer, the top 30 is reallyreally fast here, bownr 8 and bownr 89, but we kept our first position with good speed and solid tactics. Only close to the first windward mark after the first beat of 1.7nmile (!) it was 8 who overtook us so we rounded the first mark as 2nd, great downwind leg with nice waves and a solid 2nd beat, still 2nd at he top mark. Downwind 89 overtook us unfortunately but 3 on the finish was great!

2nd race with 16 knots and blue-sky-Tshirt/weather, just perfect. OK start, a big mess at the first windward mark; imagine 50 boats coming almost within 1 minute together at the mark.. we got around quite clean, downwind rides got better and better with bigger waves and excellent surfs. 35 at the finish. 3rd race: 20th at the finish, excellent boat speed both upwind and downwind, if we keep this conditions we will only sail better.

24th overall for now, with discard (after tomorrow) it will even be better.

Compliments to Team Blok they had a very good day and are now at 5th overall position! Their new boat (and themselves) are kicking ass! But there are 9 more races to sail so the heat is on..

The races are roller coaster races, both mentally as physically, 1 small mistake means you loose 20 boats… but thats what one-design sailing should be!

After sail again excellent; Mexican night this time, tacos and all the additives… great organization! - Edgar