Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jan. 25 - Races 3 and 4

We had another two races today in medium wind conditions. The forecast was for 15-18 increasing to 18-22 but the big breeze never really materialized. The first race was in 15 knots we had an okay start but got shot out the back after a few hundred meters. Left had been paying and was looking good on the first beat so we chose to just stick out the bad air and head left with the pack. This proved to be a bad call as we ended up behind coming into the top mark. The downwinds were tricky today as the waves were coming across the course and were surfable, but the big waves were very slow moving and if you didn't play them properly you got stuck going up the front of the next wave. We managed to pick up one boat somewhere on the first downwind/second beat. The breeze shifted right and died down to about 12 knots towards the end of this race and we were searching for power. We changed our rig set up between races and tried to eat some food (my protein bar fell out of my mouth while trapezing so Jen kindly shared hers). We got our coaches Rafa and Zizi to take a look at our sails before the next race and felt like we had the boat up to speed. On the starting line we lost our leeward hole at about 30 seconds and were totally shot out the back! This hasn't happened in awhile, so it was a bit frustrating. We tacked out and cleared our air and found a lane. The breeze was sort of persistently shifting right and we didn't consolidate back right enough during the first upwind, ending up on the left side at the top mark at the back of the fleet. The second upwind went much better, we felt very fast and picked up a boat. The last downwind we again struggled to find our groove in the choppy conditions. We thought we had sailed a good leg but came into the mark neck and neck with the other Canadians, Dana and Karen. Unfortunately we had to give them room at the mark and just lost them on the final reach to the finish.

After the race Zizi and Rafa made us sail upwind again and gave us several helpful pointers on our upwind speed. Although today wasn't a brilliant day for us we remained in good spirits and hope to continue the upward trajectory tomorrow. Please check out the event website where you can view the races live as well as find the results and photos.

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