Monday, November 23, 2009

final day of the USMRC...

Clearwater, FL : Yesterday wrapped up the final day of the USMRC which was won, in a very tight final, by Bill Hardesty from the Chicago Match Race Center. Bill won the finals against Dave Perry 3-2 in a heavily contested five-race series. We won our knockout series for 7th/8th places, against 2007 National Champion, Brian Angel, 2-0, to finish 7th overall.

It Wasn't All Bad!
Photo: Chris Love, SailGroove
There was wind, finally, for the last day, but as we had only completed one and one-third rounds of the scheduled two round robins, the organizers wanted to get into the semi-finals and the finals for the event. Unfortunately for us, this meant that we were not going to be able to climb up the standings by any more than one place. Because the rounds were not completed, we were scored in a way that is called 'fractional scoring'. The scoring system is a bit complicated, and it didn't help us out in the standings, leaving us in 8th going into the last day. There was a small possibility that the second round was going to be completed instead of the semi's and finals, which would have increased our chances of moving up more. However, the way it worked out, the finals were so much fun to watch, I'm glad the regatta was sailed the way it was.

And For My Next Trick ....
Photo: Chris Love, SailGroove

I started the day by running a 5k road race. I had a bit of frustration from the week built up inside me and needed to let it out, so I ran a race before sailing on Sunday and it cleared my head. I didn't run as fast as I had wanted since I was tired and suffering from a cold, but I did managed to finish 3rd overall, and 2nd woman, with a time of 20:08. (Warm up for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving). After the race, I met my team at the sailing center and we were notified of the format for the day's racing. Despite being disappointed by the format, we used the racing as good practice, and executed the plans that we wanted to. The team worked very well together and everything felt as if it was flowing. It was a great way to end our season, with two wins and, fantastic and effective team work.

After we had finished racing, we stayed out, anchored our boat, and watched the finals. I don't think I have ever seen so many penalty flags in five races as we saw in these finals, but needless to say, it was very exciting. Both teams sailed exceptionally well, executing great moves and being very aggressive. We watched and took notes, and are going to study them in our off-time over the next couple of weeks.

So our season has ended for the year. We have a month and a half off from sailing, except that I'm heading to Australia in a week, for a week of Laser training with my friend Marit, from the Netherlands. I am looking forward to sailing my Laser again, to work on my fitness and hiking, since it's been a while. As a match race team, we are focusing on our fitness programs and weight gain for the Elliots. Our next regatta is our USSTAG team qualifier in early January, which will be our qualifier for the Miami OCR regatta.

I'll write an update from Australia with pictures. In the mean time, I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. I would also like to thank Gill for their support of us at these past few regattas, and USSTAG for their continued support of my sailing.

Sail Hard,