Friday, October 23, 2009

Rolex Osprey Cup

October 23, 2009
St. Pete, FL

Today was a long day at the Rolex Osprey Cup, given that we only did five races. For our team, we had a great day, winning all five races, although they were close races. The wind was up and down all day long again, giving us an extra long lunch break as the gradient breeze died out and the sea breeze filled in.

Photo: Renee Athey, Oct 2009
We wrapped up the second round robin first thing after lunch, maintaining the lead in the regatta with an 18-0 record. We had some very good races, including a very tight race with Samantha Osborne (NZL) that came down to half a boat length at the finish line.

The race started with Samantha having a penalty in the pre-start, for luffing too quickly. We led the way up the course and around the top mark, with Samantha close on our tails. We made a bad decision on our boat and gybed too late for the layline, whereas she gybed right on it to take the lead downwind. Upwind on the second beat, we stayed within two boat-lengths of her which was our goal so that she wouldn't have enough room to spin her penalty turn and still keep the lead. She spun her penalty turn at the top mark giving us the lead, but leaving her in the powerful position downwind of being right behind us. We defended her most of the way down until about six boat-lengths from the finish line, where she caught up right to us and sailed to leeward of us. She sailed slightly above her proper course, earning her another penalty. In a last ditch effort to draw a penalty back on us, she did a couple of gybes, but at that point it was too late and we managed to cross the line just ahead of her. It was a great race, and given that it was our first race of the day, it shook us awake and got us going for the rest of the day.

After finishing the round robins, we started racing the semi-finals. We are seeded against Karin Hagstrom (SWE). We completed two races in the semi's before we were sent in for the day. The races were close and a lot of fun. In the first race, we called a bad layline to the pin end of the line, missed it and ended up about two boat lengths behind, off the line. We caught up on the upwind leg and ended up taking the lead at the top mark. Downwind, we got into a tight battle, where we ended up sailing past the leeward mark then sailing back to it under jib and main on a tight reach. We rounded ahead and maintained the lead for the remainder of that race to take the first race in the best-of-five series. The second race had an interesting start. After a huge misunderstanding, we found ourselves behind on the upwind leg, but worked exceptionally hard as a team, pulled ahead and held on to win that race too.

Tomorrow we will finish the semi-finals and then go onto the finals and petit-finals. You can check the results on the regatta website. A few regatta photos can be viewed by clicking here.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. I would also like to thank Gill for their support of our team for this event.

Sail Hard,