Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sail for Gold regatta...

Working the Boat Photo: Ingrid Abery, Sept 2009
September 19, 2009 - Weymouth, GBR
By Anna Tunnicliffe

We won the Bronze medal today at the Sail for Gold regatta here in Weymouth, England, the last leg of the ISAF World Cup Series. After getting eliminated from the finals yesterday, we battled in the petit-finals today against ISAF World #1 ranked Claire Leroy from France.

The series was a best-of-three series. We knew the racing was going to be close, and it was. When we first got out there, the breeze was dying. We sat around for three hours as we waited for it to fill back in, and when it did, it was perfect. It was shifty, but this kept the game challenging.

Race one started with us leading around the first lap and a half. At the second windward mark, we dialed her down, but didn’t give her an option to keep clear of us. As she tried to avoid, there was contact, and we drew a penalty. She went on to win the race quite easily. The second race was very close. We lead again around the course, but on the last downwind leg, she got a puff from behind and closed the gap. We crossed the line about five feet in front of her. Now the series was tied 1-1 with the deciding race ahead of us.

In the pre-start of the third race, Claire got a penalty against her. We continued to do our start setup and came out with a good start and led the race again quite comfortably. We had a bad leeward mark rounding and she gained on us. At the top mark, she had caught up enough that she rounded the mark inside of us. After a luffing match, we finally broke the overlap and could sail downwind. All we had to do was to just stay in touch with her; it didn’t matter that she was ahead of us because she didn’t have enough room to spin her penalty and still be ahead. As we went down the leg on starboard gybe, her to our right, we felt like we controlled the race. She kept gybing towards us to try and cross us, but couldn’t get across until it was too late. She finally crossed our bow as we entered the zone at the finish line, and luffed us hard to try and get a penalty on us. The result of the protest was that she got another penalty and had to spin immediately. We went on to finish the race and win the bronze medal at this year’s event.

Covering Photo: Ingrid Abery, Sept 2009

We are very happy with our performance. We learned a lot and know where our biggest areas of improvement lie. I had a great team sailing with me, Molly Vandemoer and Alice Manard. We all had a great time and are looking forward to our next match race event.

I am staying in England for another week to visit my relatives before I go home for a week's break. My next regatta will be the Rolex Women’s International Keelboat Championships in Rochester, NY at the beginning of October.

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

Sail hard,