Wednesday, January 27, 2010

OCR, Miami: Day 3, Sorting Out the Seeds

Miami, FL

This morning, at 2010 US Sailing Rolex Miami OCR, we had one job to do, and that was to win our race. And we did it. We won our race, and other teams lost their races which allowed us to advance into the Gold fleet this afternoon. With three races completed in the Gold fleet, we currently have a 2-1 record.

Closely Watched By The Judges
Photo: copyright Walter Cooper, January 2010

It was a beautiful day in Miami today. The wind was a bit shifty this morning although blowing a nice 10-12kts. In our first race, we had a great start and led all the way around the course. There were times when the other boat got a bit close, but as a team, I felt as though we positioned ourselves against the other boat well so that we could hold them off. We were quite relieved to win this race after the disappointing afternoon yesterday. This morning, we were all focused on what needed to be done, and we kept it calm and simple.

After the first race, we got to come ashore for an hour. The afternoon's racing was much tighter than we have experienced in the regatta so far. Our first race was against Lucy MacGregor from England. We got our timing slightly wrong, and couldn't quite get through her lee on the start line. She ended up forcing us away from the first shift and she extended on us sufficiently, that we couldn't catch up.

After that loss, we were fired up for our next race against Claire Leroy from France. We had a great start with her. We won the side we wanted on the start line, and she started a little early. We had a great lead off the line, but she got a little shift right at the end of the first beat and she gained back on us towards the top mark. Downwind, we got into a gybing duel and drew a penalty on her. From there, we held the lead around the course, and made it our goal to sail a clean race to the finish. Our last race was against Samantha Osborne from New Zealand. We won the start and then hooked into a huge right shift that put us over the layline for the windward mark, so much so that we had to start reaching in. We were looking like we were 'miles' ahead, then we fell out of the puff towards the top of the course and the right shift fell away and we were now bow to bow at the top mark. We forced Samantha to tack and held her for a while until we felt we could tack and safely set the spinnaker. We had a fast set, allowing us to extend a bit on the downwind leg. On the second time around, we sailed smart and fast and extended our lead and held on to the finish.

Tomorrow we will finish up the Gold fleet round robin. The purpose of this round robin is to seed the top 6 for the quarter-finals. We will be joined by the top two in the repecharge to make the top 8 and from there, sail a knock-out. You can find results here at the regatta website.

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

Sail Hard,

Team Tunnicliffe