Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championships

September 21, 2010
Newport, RI

Racing started today at the ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championships and our team had a great day starting 3-1. After a morning of sitting and waiting, we finally got racing mid-afternoon and raced until the sun went down.

Team Tunnicliffe Rounding Ahead Of Brazil Late Afternoon
Photo: (c) http://isafwomensmatchraceworlds.wordpress.com/

The other group started racing at 9:30 this morning in a dying northerly breeze. As they were scheduled to do four flights before we hit the water, our group had the morning off. We headed out to an island to watch the racing, and saw the tail end of their first flight before the breeze completely died and they were sent ashore as they waited for the sea breeze to come in. We decided to head home and continue working on our jigsaw puzzle and read to relax before we were told to head out. The breeze filled in around 1pm; the other group headed back out to start racing again.

Our group finally headed out at 2:15 and got into our boat by 3pm. Our first two races were pretty close up the first beat but we had great speed and boat handling downwind enabling us to stretch it out and finish with a five or six boat length lead.

Our third race of the day was against our fellow Americans, Sally Barkow and team. We had a great race with them up the first beat, tacking at each other numerous times in 15-18kts of breeze. At the top, both boats were neck and neck, but Barkow had the inside berth at the mark. As she rounded, she had problems bearing away which allowed us to get inside and have a great spinnaker set. Once Barkow finally bore away, she started to broach to windward and we extended a little more. We both gybed to starboard, she headed up high, then swung low to get underneath us. Shortly thereafter, there was contact between her spinnaker pole and our boom. We were penalized, but the race was still on. As we closed to the leeward mark, it was close as to whether or not we had room. I made the call that we did and rounded inside of her. As it turned out, we didn't have room and we were penalized again, resulting in us having to spin our second penalty immediately giving her a bit of a lead from which we couldn't recover. It was rather unfortunate because it was such a good race, and a bit silly on our part. New goal for regatta: not to make silly mistakes like that for the rest of the event. It was an important lesson that if it's windy like that, our red-zone (our danger zone around the other boat and marks) is a bit wider than normal, so we should be careful.

Our fourth race started with us in a strong position and we led all around the course to take our score to 3-1. Our group starts racing again tomorrow morning at 9:30, so we ate a quick dinner, are about to have our debrief and then off to bed so we will be fresh and alert for the five races left in our round robin tomorrow.

You can check out the results at the regatta website. There is also live tracking online so you can follow along with the racing too. Another link to follow: http://isafwomensmatchraceworlds.wordpress.com/

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