Sunday, May 24, 2009

New York YC Match Race Clinic and Regatta

Final Day - New York YC Match Race Clinic and Regatta E-mail May 23, 2009 Boston, MA

I’m sitting in Boston airport waiting for my flight to Amsterdam for my next event, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherland. But today we wrapped up the New York YC Women’s Match Race Clinic and Regatta, and what an exciting day it was. We came from behind by two races to win the event 3-2 over Sally Barkow and team.

The day started overcast, with showers and light shifty winds. Yesterday we advanced into the semi-finals where we were paired up with Lotte Pederson from Denmark. We completed the first two races of the semi’s yesterday and took a 2-0 lead. Today we had to win one more of the three scheduled races to advance to the finals. We had a great start against Lotte in the first race, but she managed to catch up to us by the top mark. On the downwind leg, we managed to pass her and took control of the race to advance to the finals against Sally Barkow. Sally defeated Genny Tulloch 3-0 in her semi-finals match.

It was the finals’ match up we were looking forward to. The conditions were still light and shifty with a current that was pretty strong in places and not in others. The first race of the series we had an even start with Sally and rounded the top mark on the outside of her. At that point I made a big mistake and tried to gybe my boat, but was unsuccessful. We lost our spinnaker and it was enough for her to pull ahead and control the rest of the race. The next race, the conditions had changed so that there was a big current relief on the left side of the course. We knew this, but didn’t quite realize it was as big as it was.

We started to the right of Sally with about 10 boat lengths separation, but it was enough put her in the relief and us in the current. At that point, we had lost the race about 30 seconds into it. But we kept up our spirits and knew that we could rally back if we put our minds to it. And we did. The next race, the conditions were similar, but this time, we took control of the left and Sally was on the right.

We had pulled a race back, and we were feeling good about it. The next race seemed to be over at the start as we were over the line early and I took a long time returning. But again we kept our heads in it and the conditions at this point were getting very tricky. Sally rounded the top mark ahead of us by about 30 seconds, but then sailed into a lull. We rounded the mark and lined ourselves up with the next puff. We rode this puff all the way downwind to catch up to Sally and claim inside at the leeward mark. We held her off on the next upwind to go on to win the race.

The series was now tied 2-2 and we were very excited for our last race. We had a great start again, and rounded the top mark again on the outside of Sally. We soaked low on the downwind to gain great position for the gybe we would need at the leeward mark. Sally threw in a gybe, but did it a bit too close to us and drew a penalty. Although she burned it soon after acquiring it, she gave us the lead. We went on to cover up the next leg and win the regatta overall 3-2.

It was a great series and we had a lot of fun. We learned a lot of great things that I’m looking forward to putting into practice next time we match race. I had a fabulous team sailing with me, Molly Vandemoer, Molly Carapiet, and Liz Bower. Unfortuantley, both Mollys have to go back to full time 470 sailing, so this was our last match race event together. It was a great way to end our time together, and we are keeping a check on our schedules to see if we can do another event at some point, but they are committed to the 470 for the London Olympic Games so have to put their time into their goals. But as I said, it was a great way to end our time together and I owe all three of my crew a big thanks for getting us around the race course very quickly.

So now I’m on my way to Holland where we start racing on Wednesday, May 27th. I will write updates during the regatta, but I’m not sure as to what my internet situation will be. I will send out an update before the event starts with a link to the regatta website so you can follow along there.

I would like to thank my sponsor Carmeuse for their continued support of my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Sail hard, Anna