December 4th, 2019
Today was Day 2 of the 2019 World Championships, but was the first day of racing for the 49erFX fleet since our racing got cancelled yesterday. We had a great start to the event and we are currently sitting first place, tied with our Danish friends Ida and Marie!
We completed 4 races today at 11am on race course I (Milford). It was about 9 knots when we first got out there, however it slowly increased throughout the day to about 15-16 knots. We started Race 1 with a great start near the boat end and decided to continue straight to the left side of the course. However, as we reached the top mark, the fleet that went to the right side sailed in a bit more pressure and we rounded the top mark mid-fleet. We decided to straight set and hit the right side looking downwind. We gained a few boats back on the downwind. Since the right side had paid on the first upwind beat, we decided to go out that way. We had a very tight lane going out right, so we didn’t get to go as far as we liked and tacked shy of lay line. The boats that went out farther to the right edge definitely paid and we rounded again mid fleet. We got rolled at the windward mark by another team which caused us to gybe away pretty early and in the end, we finished Race 1 with a 18th.
Shaking off the nerves we got right back into. Race 2 we decided that it was important to go right, so we started close to the boat end again. However, this time we took the opportunity to tack away towards the right when we could. We executed the plan very well and held our own all the way to the right. It wasn’t until we tacked back and crossed everyone from the left that we realized we were winning the race. We had great boat speed and from there we focused on sailing simple and fast. We got down to the bottom gates, still in first, and decided to take the left hand mark looking downwind. We had to gybe dose around the gate and I noticed that the dose was a lot harder than it should be, but I didn’t think much of it. We hit the right side of the course again, however when we rounded the top mark in first and set the kite we noticed there a 4 foot rip in the spinnaker! The spinnaker had ripped when we were dosing at the bottom gate and we were both surprised. However, because we had a big lead, we held first place all the way till the finish!
We took a spare kite out with us on the water so before Race 3 started we switched it out. It was a little hectic getting everything sorted again in time for the race to start, however we got everything done and ready. By now the wind had increased to about 15-16 knots and we decided to start a little farther down the line. We got a great start off in the middle and noticed the wind had ticked a little left. We decided to continue straight and hit the left side of the course. Our prediction was correct and we ended up crossing the pack to the right! We once again rounded the top mark in first and once again finished the race in 1st!
Race 4 started off a little more hectic and we decided to make a last minute decision and start on port ducking the fleet at the start and sailing out to the right. We didn’t particularly like the right side of the course, so before getting to the right edge we tacked back, took a few sterns from the fleet that went left, and made our way to the left. We gained a lot by doing that and rounded the top mark in about 9th. We gained a few on the downwind and rounded the bottom gates in about 7th or 8th. Since the left side seemed to be working, we decided to stick to that side. We pretty much sailed all the way to port lay line and when we tacked back we had gained 1 or 2 boats. We rounded the top mark in 6th and ended up passing one more boat at the finish. We ended that race in 5th.
When we got in from racing we were greeted by World Sailing Officials at the ramp and we both got randomly selected for drug testing. The whole procedure went smoothly.
We are overall happy with the way we sailed today. There is still a lot of racing left, but we are happy with how it has started.
We want to thank everyone who sent us encouraging messages when we got to shore! It was really nice to see all the support from everyone! We launched our GoFund Me page today and while we were racing we raised $2000 by 9 amazing people. THANK YOU so much and keep it coming! You can go to our GoFund Me page by clicking HERE!
Link to the results here.
Paris & Anna