Thursday, September 9, 2010

Light Winds, 3-1, First Day, Buddy Melges Challenge

September 9, 2010
Sheboygan, WI

Racing got underway very early today at the Buddy Melges Challenge, with the first race just after 9am. The temperature was in the low 50's but the wind was steady, blowing around 6kts. We had a great morning with some good racing. We finished the day 3-1 in our group, and we have two more races tomorrow to finish the round robin off.

We started off the day with a bye race due to the odd number of teams in our group, but then got to the racing with our first two races against Ru Wang from China and Anne Marie Shewfelt from Canada. After good prestarts with both teams, we took control of the races early and led to the finish. Our third race of the day was against our USSTAG teammates Genny Tulloch. We split ends on the start with us on the right and Genny taking the left. Both boats came back together half way up the beat with Genny being about one and a half boat lengths ahead. We had a short tacking duel for the second half of the beat and closed the gap to be less than a boat length behind at the top mark. Downwind, Molly did a fantastic job of keeping the spinnaker full through the gybes despite the light winds. We managed to pass her and round the leeward mark one and a half boat lengths ahead. Upwind, we lost a little of our lead but again on the downwind leg, pulled ahead and took the win to take our record to 3-0.

Our last race was against Samantha Osborne from New Zealand. We had a great start and led her around the whole race course until the last leg. We made a mistake on where we placed our gybe and she rolled over us. Because the wind was so light, she maintained her speed and we lost a bit and consequently, she pulled ahead of us. We made a strong attempt at re-passing her and we closed a considerable amount of distance on her at the finish, but couldn't quite get it all back and lost by one boat length. It was a good race and she did a excellent job of keeping close to us upwind so she could be in a strong attacking position downwind. We know where we made our mistake so hopefully we've learned from it and won't do it again.

Tomorrow we finish the round robin, when the top four teams in each group will go into the quarter-finals and the bottom four teams in each group go into a round robin for 9th-15th place. You can check the regatta results on the regatta website. There is also live video and tracking so you can follow along live too.

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