Monday, September 14, 2009

Sail for Gold Regatta

Weymouth, GBR
We started racing today at the Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth, England. This is the last stage of the ISAF World Cup series. I’m sailing match racing this event as I’ve have wrapped up the World Cup win in the Radial Class series.

We did three races today and finished with a 2-1 record in our group. There are 24 teams, which are divided into the three groups of eight. Each group did three flights of races to start the round. At the end of the round, the top two boats advance to the next round and the next three go to the repecharge. There were many teams with a 2-1 in all the groups, and a couple of teams won all their three races. The conditions today were tricky with shifty winds and choppy seas.

Our first race, we had a great pre-start, but called the last layline into the start slightly wrong and ended up trailing in on port. We quickly initiated a tacking dual and got around our opponent and controlled the race from there. Our second race, we again sailed a great pre-start drawing a penalty on the other boat. They had much better speed than us on the upwind leg and passed us upwind. We caught up on the last leg as they burned their penalty. The last leg was very exciting. We rolled over them to take the lead on the last leg. We had one more gybe back to the finish line, where they got a slight jump on us. We went for the luff a couple times, and apparently luffed a bit too fast and drew a penalty ourselves. Now, we were about 200m from the finish line. We were trying to think how to draw a penalty against them and to cancel ours out. In this time as both boats were fighting with luffing spinnakers, the other boat broke the overlap on us. We didn’t see this so went for one more luff and there was contact and drew our second flag. From there we had to do an immediate penalty, and lost the race. We learned a lot from this race though, so we are happy to have experienced it. Our last race, we again had a great pre-start although gave up control just a bit early, and were out-sailed, speed-wise on the upwind leg. We caught up on the downwind, and passed them, but again were re-passed on the upwind. We rounded right behind them and sailed a very fast downwind leg to just pass them at the finish.

We continue our very steep learning curve at this event, especially how to sail the boats. The racing is much different than we are used to because it is so much faster and the boats don’t separate as much so we are having very close races, which makes it immense fun.

Tomorrow’s racing starts at 10am, with group B going out and finishing their round. We are racing second so should start just after noon. After having our debrief tonight with our coach, Dave Perry, we are feeling very good for tomorrow’s sailing. You can check the results at the regatta website. There will be tracking on our boats tomorrow so you can watch races live, too.

I would like Carmeuse for their continued support of my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. I would also like to thank USSTAG for their support.

Sail Hard,

Anna Tunnicliffe