Saturday, August 21, 2010

Toyota International Macth Race for the Detroit Cup

August 20, 2010
Detroit, MI

Day two of the Toyota International Macth Race for the Detroit Cup was filled with great races, but not as many wins as we had hoped. We finished the day 2-4 to take our overall record to 7-4. We are currently tied for first, but six teams have to finish their full compliment of races tomorrow to finalize the final round robin scores.

Two Kites And A "Steamship" Fighting Cross-Current Downwind (TT: pink)
Photo: (c) Team Tunnicliffe, August 2010

We sat out the first three flights this morning before we jumped in our boats. Our first race was in a light breeze with current against us upwind. We didn't have the best of starts, and ended up being behind at the top mark. On the second beat we caught up a little and almost passed by the finish, loosing by half a boat length.

After that race, the wind switched directions and started to blow across the river making for a cross-current on the course and puffy conditions. We had some good races in which we sailed very well, and the others we lost on silly mistakes.

Our best race of the day was against Dave Perry. We led off the line but he caught up to us at the bottom mark. He sailed passed his proper course, which according to the rules he is not allowed to do and consequently earned a penalty. Upwind, we stayed close so that he couldn't burn it (exonerate himself), but not too close to get ourselves in trouble. On the downwind leg towards the finish, it was a slowing game. Both boats did everything they could to slow down. With the current dragging us sideways rapidly away from the committee boat end and finish line, it made for a slightly different tactic towards the bottom of the course. We thought we were in position to be able to roll over the top of him and race for the pin end of the line, but after making the initial jump, we realized we couldn't quite make it. When we tried to bail on the plan and dive behind him, he managed to get his tack in to burn the penalty and then it was a race to the finish. He beat us by a boat length. Although it was a great race, it was frustrating because the whole way downwind we had been telling ourselves to be patient, and then right at the end we didn't have quite enough patience to stick to the plan and it cost us.

Dave Perry Burning His Penalty
Photo: (c) Team Tunnicliffe, August 2010

But the good news is that we sailed well enough that we are pretty sure we are through to the next round which will start early afternoon tomorrow. The quarter finals are knockout races, first to two points. There is live coverage of the event online at and Also the results are posted on the event website.

We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their support.

Sail Hard,

Team Tunnicliffe