Qualified for the Medal Race! Day 6 Europeans

May 18, 2019

Today started off very slow. We only had 2 more races left in the final series, but the day started off with very light winds. We were postponed onshore for about 2 hours. Around 1pm the wind switched to a stable direction and it slowly filled in.

We were finally released to go out sailing in about 5-6 knots. We were sitting 10th place going into the day, however 11th, 12th, and 13th place were close behind.

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Race 1 of today did not start off well. The wind was very light and everyone decided to start super close to each other. It was really hard to keep flow on at the start and when we went for our acceleration, we ended up fouling the boat to leeward because of close proximity. We had to do a penalty turn (360 turn) and start the race behind the whole fleet. We decided to bet on the left side of the course and made small gains going that way. We rounded the top mark around 18th place. The downwind was a bit of follow the leader and gains were hard to find. We rounded the gates relatively the same position. Unfortunately, some boats passed us on the final beat and leg of the race and we ended up 22nd. That was our worse race in the final series, so we ended up dropping it since we get one discard for the qualifying series and one discard for final series.

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After race 1 we were sitting 11th overall, one point out of 10th. We had ONE more race to try and squeeze into the medal race.

After Race 1 and talking with our coach Willie, we agreed that we were sailing too high of a mode upwind and needed to press more weight on the wire and sail about 3 degrees lower. Race 2 started off way better and we had a great start and lane going out left.  The wind increased maybe 1 knot or 2, but overall still very light. We made it all the way to the left corner and tacked back towards the mark covering a lot of the fleet. We rounded the top mark 5th and we were in great standing to move back up to 10th overall.

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On the downwind one of the boats behind us sailed a higher and faster mode so we ended up getting rolled, forcing us to gybe out early. We did not want to gybe out as early as we did, but in order to sail with clear air we had no choice. However, as we got towards the bottom gates, we actually gained on the boats in front of us. It ended up not being as bad as we thought. We rounded the left gate looking downwind and because we gained gybing out early on the downwind, we decided to play the same race track on the upwind. There seemed to be nice breeze coming down the right side of the course and when we tacked towards the mark we closed up considerable distance on the leaders! We ended up passing all the boats that went out left and rounded the top mark in 1st! Downwind speed is something we are still trying to get better at and we also think that kelp on our blades did not help us with our speed and we ended up getting passed by 4 boats on the last downwind. We were still happy with a 5th place.

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We ended up moving back to 10th overall and that concluded all the racing for the final series! We have qualified for the medal race! The medal race is one race that is only sailed by the top 10 boats overall after the qualifying and final series racing. The race is meant to be short and you earn double the points. This means that it’s really easy to move up and down the leader board, however you can’t drop below 10th place overall. Since we are 10th we have nothing to lose! We calculated the points and the best we can move up too is 8th place. Whatever our results will be tomorrow, we are extremely happy with how we have sailed this past week.

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Thank you for following along!

Anna & Paris

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