May 16-17, 2019
This European Championship has been quite the marathon!
Day 4 we sailed on the outside course and the day started off with 6-8 knots. The prediction was for a slight build, but when we got out there it was definitely a challenging condition, light and lumpy. Day 4 was one of those days that required full and complete concentration and after the racing you felt completely drained. Race 1 to be honest was a complete blur. We both tried to remember at least some of the race, but we can’t seem to remember exactly how it went. We were ping ponged back and forth through the fleet, but our biggest gain was right at the finish. We managed to come in at a hot angle with speed and pass a large pack from the right. In the 29 boat fleet we finished 16th.
Like predicted, the waves got a little bigger and wind increased to about 13-14 knots. Race 2 we had a better start more in the middle of the line. We went off left and protected the left side of the upwind beat, sort of like the race track we followed on Day 2. We rounded the top mark around 8th or 9th. Sailing in the front of the fleet has proved to be a lot easier than playing catch up and we finished that race in 9th.
The wind and waves decreased a little bit for the final race of Day 4. We did not have the best start and had to tack out right away onto port. We ducked a few boats and had a clear lane out to the right side of the race course. We tacked back across the course a little too early as the race winners for that race came out of the right, but because there was no clear pattern to the day it made it hard to figure out what was going to happen. We played catch up the whole race not being able to pass boats and finished 19th.
Today was Day 5 and we had a very early start! The wind was predicted to be great in the morning, but slowly die down to about 5 knots in the late afternoon. We had 3 races scheduled and this time we were on a different outside race course then the previous days we raced outside the harbor. It was extremely cold today! We got out there in about 13-15 knots and relatively flatter water because the wind came from the land.
Race 1 we strove for a clear start right under the pack at the committee boat. We hit the line perfectly and raced on to the left side of the course. As we got out toward the left corner, we hit a little lift and extended nicely on the fleet. We tacked right on port layline and rounded the top mark in 1st! From there the race was easy once again! We maintained the lead and followed the same game plan through the whole race. We finally earned our first gold fleet race win!
Race 2 was a little lighter and since the wind was coming from the land, we could see the pressure come down the course in lines. Since not much had changed other than a lighter breeze we stuck with the same game plan and once again had a great start! We sailed the same path and rounded the top mark around 5th or 6th. The downwind was pretty straight forward staying in the pressure and finding the right time to gybe. We hit the bottom right corner looking downwind every leg and it seemed to pay off to either maintain or gain on our competitors. We finished that race in 6th.
We didn’t want to make things complicated for the final race of the day and we once again decided to have the same game plan as the other races. Nothing had changed very much and the shifts back and forth were relatively small. Once again we nailed the start and sailed out to the left side. We tacked on port layline and rounded the mark in 3rd! We passed one boat on the downwind and made our way back up the final beat. From there it was all about defending our position. Some boats went off right and the majority of the fleet went off left and since the left had been working well, we decided to cover the majority who went off left. This time we lost the couple boats that went off right, but we were okay with that because we couldn’t cover both sides. We got down to the finish and ended up 5th in the race, however the boat that finished right in front of us was UFD (over early at the start) so we actually finished 4th.
With the finishes of 1,6,4 we ended up being the team that did the overall best for the day! We felt happy with speed, communication, and execution. Slowly piecing everything together! We moved up 5 places and are currently sitting 10th overall. We have 2 more races scheduled until the medal race. The points are still close, but we are excited to be in the position to fight for a medal race spot!
For results click here.
Anna & Paris