February 11th, 2020
We can’t say that day one went the way we wanted it to, but we are holding our heads high and looking forward to tomorrow’s racing. We had three races today finishing with a 7, 15, 20 and are sitting 31st overall.
The day started on time and we headed out to get race one going. The wind was lighter around 8-9 kts when we first got out, but slowly died and by the time we started it was probably 7-8kts. Throughout the race it maintained around that wind strength, but started to fill quite weird on the course. We had a great start and shot out off the line. Up the first beat we sailed really well, leading the pack from the left over to the right. Four boats from the right crossed us and we rounded the top mark in 5th. We wanted to gybe set, but to avoid damaging our boat due to another boat putting their bow inside us at the mark we went straight, set and then gybed shortly thereafter. This was the point were the race started to get weird. The pressure on the upwind left side of the course basically died to about 4-5 kts whereas the pressure on the upwind right side of the course was holding steady at 7-8kts. All the boats that rounded towards the back of the pack gybe set and made big moves on the downwind leg to catch up to the leaders. Since we gybed fairly early we didn’t suffer too badly, but we did lose one or two boats because of the pressure shift on the course. We rounded in 7th at the bottom, and held the same spot for the finish of the race. Considering the conditions, we were very happy with how the race turned out.
The next race was attempted shortly after, but a huge left hand shift caused the race committee to abandon the race when we were on our first downwind leg.
We then sat for a long time waiting for the wind to fill back in. We were happy with waiting so that we would be able to have much nicer breeze for the final two races of the day. Finally, around 2:30pm, the wind started to fill in and racing got underway again. The wind built to a nice 9-12kts by the end of the day.
The second race, the first one in the new breeze, started quite well. We had a great start and speed off the line. We followed our plan up the beat and were set to round the top mark in about 7th place…and then we hit weeds! And went very slow! So we lost our good positioning and got stuck fighting for positions. We struggled from there to get the groove back as we feel like we found all the weeds on the race course. Everyone was struggling with the weeds, so we can’t solely blame it on that, and we ended up not having a great final result and crossing the line in 15th.
The final race of the day was a similar story off the line. We had a good start and then got to the point where we wanted to tack. We tacked when we wanted, but we were immediately tacked on, so we had to foot off and get through their lee to have good breeze again. We managed to do that quite quickly, but then were in a difficult position for the rest of the beat and couldn’t quite get to the left as much as we wanted to. We rounded the top mark in about 13-15th place and again struggled with the weed downwind, losing a few more boats. Upwind we didn’t gain or lose boats we were in about the 20th spot at the top which is where we held until the finish of the race.
We could whine and complain about the weed, but we aren’t going to. We got very good at removing weed from the blades today, so that was a positive, and we are just going to move on and focus on tomorrow. Tomorrow we are in blue fleet again with 3 races scheduled for the afternoon. The forecast is for nice wind all day so we are very excited to get back on the water again!
You can check out the results here.
Anna & Paris