January 29th, 2019
Today started the racing at the Hempel Miami Sailing World Cup, and it definitely wasn’t the start that we were hoping for. We finished with a 24th in the only race of the day, but on a positive note, we weren’t penalized with a Black Flag (DSQ).
After a casual morning of waiting for what was scheduled as a 2pm start, we headed to the boat park around 11:30 to get the boat ready to go. Because the wind was lighter and quite shifty, the race committee was unable to get races done as fast as they had planned, so we were held on shore a little longer than scheduled to make the racing run smooth. We finally launched sometime around 1:30, and headed out to catch the guys (49er) last race. We got out there, did our homework, got the boat feeling fast, and were ready for racing.
The first starting sequence went, and this is always the most nerve-racking one of the whole series. We were under a U-flag start, meaning if there was someone over the line within one minute of the start, then you will be disqualified from the race, unless it was restarted. The fleet was very eager to start and we ended up having the start recalled. The next start was a black flag start, meaning the same thing as a U-flag, but there is no forgiveness this time. Again the fleet was over, and they caught 5-6 boats DSQ. We knew we were close, but thankfully not close enough and weren’t over the line. The final start got off shortly after, and race 1 was underway. We had a great start, but ended up a little too far down the line for perfect placement. But we got off the line, had great speed, and were able to sail fast. We tacked onto port and sailed across the course. There was a band of wind just to windward of us that wasn’t coming down, but was filling in from the right hand side, and so the right hand boats got the pressure slightly before us. We ended up 17that the top mark, which wasn’t great, but it was what it was given we were on the wrong side of the filling breeze.
Downwind we gybed set and headed down the course. We ended up gybing too early before layline and the boats that were behind us, extended into the corner and had better pressure and passed us. We were probably about 28that the bottom mark. The final upwind wasn’t much better in terms of passing boats, but on the last downwind leg, we were able to catch back up and pass about 4 boats to finish 24th.
Although today wasn’t great, I am a big believer in trying to take the positives out of the day. Our starts, all three of them, were really quite good. And our speed in the lighter conditions felt really good too. We have struggled with those two things the last few weeks so it was nice to have both of them lined up today. And our big lesson learned/re-learned/re-emphasized is to never give up. It could have been quite easy for us to have just checked out after the first downwind leg and not put much effort forward to try and pass boats given that the course wasn’t offering a lot of passing lanes, but we didn’t and I’m happy that we managed to pull back some boats at the end of the race.
Sometimes we make bad decisions, but once the decision is made, we can only look to try and make the current situation better.
Tomorrow we have 4 races scheduled starting at 11:30. I’m looking forward to getting in multiple races back to back so that we can keep learning/re-learning all of these lessons.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support of us!
On to tomorrow!
Anna and Paris