Day 5: 2019 World Championships

December 7th, 2019

Today was a weird day! We left the shore at 12:55pm and didn’t hit the shore again until 6pm.  We sailed three races, one bad and two very good ones.  We ended up climbing up the leader board a couple spots and now we are sitting 8th going into tomorrow.

The forecast was for either really good north easterly winds all day, or for a fighting breeze between a north westerly and a north easterly.  Well, we got the fighting breezes.  And fight they did, starting during the first race.  The course looked fairly unstable and we made a decision that off shore looked like it would be the better and safer option up the beat. We had a good start towards the boat end and then tacked off and headed to the right.  Unfortunately, the right wasn’t the correct side.  The wind started to trend left and then more left until we were pretty well in the back of the pack and we stayed there for the rest of the race.  It wasn’t a very good race for us and we are definitely bummed about it, but we did execute our game plan off the line, we just got the game plan wrong and we paid the price for it finishing 23rd.

After the race, they tried to start another race, but the wind was now swinging through 40-60 degrees as clouds moved across our course.  Around 3:30-4pm the wind started to settle a little.  The race committee moved a little more off shore and set a course in a slow building breeze.  We started the race in around 9-11kts and definitely still had big lulls that we had to battle, and still decent shifts, but only around 10-15 degrees this time.

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The race started with quite a big left hand shift around 1:30 before the start. Because it was hard to lay the pin we decided it was better to start on port.  We had a quite good port start and sailed the lifted tack up the beat.  We crossed the fleet from the left and rounded the top mark in 1st. From there, we sailed a clean race and kept things simple and extended our lead out to finish with almost a 300 lead at the finish.  It felt really good to bounce back so well after the first race and it got us back on track for the final race of the day.  Right after the race, Anna got interviewed by the live feed, asking questions on how we were able to turn it on and focus after a long delay, how we felt about our race, and our speed. (We stayed focused by being able to switch off for a few minutes by playing 21 questions, and then we checked back in with what was going on by going for a quick sail)

In the final race of the day, we decided we wanted the left side and we did just that. A French boat started at the pin and lead us all out to that side.  They tacked over and so did everyone on our hip and we were the left most boat on the course.  We tacked when we had a good lane and cruised up the course on layline.  We rounded the top mark in around 6-7thand downwind held about the same.  As we came into the leeward mark, we had a discussion about where we wanted to go upwind and which mark we wanted and executed the plan.  We wanted to head right because we thought we had better breeze up there.  About ¾ of the way up the beat we tacked over to consolidate on the left hand side of the course.  Our side had paid off and now we were crossing everyone who had gone left.  There were two boats that sailed past us and dug farther into the right.  We had to decide if we wanted to cover two boats or if we wanted to consolidate the fleet and put ourselves in a good position.  We decided to play it smart and not risk covering two boats, which, despite being ahead of them at the leeward mark, we were now in 3rdin the race.  We rounded the top mark in that position and had a good downwind.  We almost caught the boat in front of us, but the got us by about a pole length so we got a 3rd, which we were very happy with.

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Overall, after dropping after the first race, we climbed back up to 8th heading into tomorrow.  We have two fleet races left tomorrow morning to decide the top 10.  Those who are ranked top 10 after the two races, race in the medal race. Our final 2 races in final series started at 10:30am local time and the medal race is at 2:40pm local time.

You can check out the live coverage via 49er.org/live. The event has tried really hard with putting together some awesome coverage of the Worlds and they honestly have done a great job! So make sure to check out our final day of racing!

Results can be viewed here.

Paris & Anna


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