Monday, July 23, 2007

Day 1: Oh Yes, Amongst All Of This A Regatta Breaks Out

The view out my window this morning, looking East.
David with Paige Railey and Andrew Campbell…the young guns.
The coaches boats. There are lots of coaches boats.
Just after the finish of the last race.
Getting towed in. (Please note, on the water shots are very challenging.) The coaches try to get shots of us, but they can't leave the coaching box which is just to leeward of the finish. So we won't have many pics of the actual racing. Sorry

This morning dawned clear and windy. The Northerly was blowing hard as it had when we went to bed…except it wasn't a Northerly any longer. It had moved left. By the time we got to the boat park on the 8:30 AM bus, it was already West. By the time we got the boat off the dock, it was already into the SW and blowing hard. We try to be the first boat out of the harbor. It feels good to leave the hubbub of the boat park and just do what we've come to do. Today we left in all the gear we could put on. The breeze was probably blowing 18-20 but the tide was ebbing and that made it look like 22 on the water. After yesterday of spending the whole day out there in under 6, this was more like it. We sailed downwind to our starting area. The Hobie-16s, the J-24, the Lightning and the Snipes sail on our course and start in that order. On the other course the Sunfish, the Laser Radials (women) the Regular Lasers (men) and the men's and women's boards sail.

The breeze continued to the left to blow from almost directly South for the first start. With the tide ebbing, the shipping channel in the middle of the course should be the place to go. But it is very narrow and almost impossible to identify without any channel markers. In any event, it seems that the breeze, aligned almost directly with the opening of the bay might be keeping the water in. It was unclear to us on our boat the tide was having any major effect. We felt it might be slightly better on the right from a current perspective. We were also seeing right shifts in the wind. Watching the Hobie-16s start on port tack and take sterns to bang the right corner hard also influences our thinking. Those boats go so far so fast, and sail such wide angles, they see parts of the bay we never get to. So we've got to keep that in mind. Our boat is about as different from a Hobie-16 as and Opti is from and Etchells.

We started nicely at the boat. Just above Chile and Brazil. Chile showed a gear nobody could match in this breeze. Tito took risks. Tito appeard to be sailing the wrong tack for long periods of time. Tito is very patient and waits until he sees what he is waiting for and then he tacks. Sometimes he turns sailing the wrong tack into big gains when after 5-6 minutes of watching the fleet wind up inside him, he tacks on the beginning of a 15 degree header. If it's not there, he loses big time. Today, it was there. He won both races.

In the first race Brazil seemed to have a little speed advantage on too. We reeled them in on the two downwind legs of the WL-2 course, but we couldn't get closer than 3 boat lengths at the finish. So they finished 2nd and we were 3rd with Argentina 4th and Ecuador 5th.

In the second race we started the most leeward boat (to the left of the fleet, about in the middle of the line.) As a team, we feel it's better to start on an edge. In a small fleet, you should always be able to find a lane going either way you'd like and so it's not good to have to mix it up in the middle of the pack. Some time later, we might have to win an end, but at the beginning of the event, take a spot where there's clear air and go. Our strategy worked well. One by one, the competition on our right hip pointed down into us in a left shit and tacked off toward the psychologically more pleasing right. We tacked to the left of the fleet and sailed a great number across. I think we probably were never actually much left of center, but we were the left most boat. So we should have been leading by miles right? We're still working this out in our minds…remember we've got 3 people on the boat who are trying hard and are reasonably accomplished at this…here we are, sailing an up number on the inside edge of the fleet. There is no bag on our centerboard. We are going through the water very competitively and yet we watch 2 boats sail out from under us and round ahead (Chile and Ecuador). Right now it's 2:35am and I'm still trying to work that one out. Right now the leaders in the club house are 1: I can't read a digital compass. Or 2: We somehow sailed out of the stronger ebb (which might have actually started to ebb a bit in the lighter air of race two, into the shallower right side. Anyway, we went down hill very slightly faster than Ecuador and both caught up to Chile. We went up wind and got to the top mark in the same relative positions. Just before the fleet got to the top mark the current switched. How fast it switches and how much it rushes in is another debatable matter that may just have the most impact on the final standings come Saturday. We rounded and sailed about half the leg on Starboard gybe. Brazil gybed before we did. That was probably a mistake for our team. Whether it was that they were in the deeper, flooding water sooner; they were between us and a right shifted breeze plus the fact that the downwind finish line was heavily skewed towards the port (pin) end looking downwind enabled them to beat us by about a boat length. This was very costly. Had we finished ahead of them we would be sitting in second owning a tiebreaker over Brazil. As it is now, our scores are 3, 4=7pts) tied with Ecuador (5, 2=7pts). It was a tough day. But we hope tomorrow will be better.

On the other course, Andrew Campbell is winning the Men's Laser. Paige Railey in the woman's Laser And Paul Foerster are doing well too. The rest of us need to get moving. Here are the overall results:

Results - Top Three and USA
Laser Radial (12 boats) -- 2 races
1. Canada 2-2: 4 (Lisa Ross)
2. USA 4-1: 5 (Paige Railey/Clearwater, Fla.)
3. Argentina 3-4: 7 (Cecilia Carranza Saroli)

Laser (12 boats) -- 2 races
T1. USA 1-5: 6 (Andrew Campbell/San Diego, Calif.)
T1. Chile 4-2: 6 (Matias del Solar)
3. Brazil 3-4: 7 (Robert Scheidt)

RS:X Men (9 boats) -- 2 races
1. Mexico 1-1: 2 (David Mier Y Teran)
T2. Brazil 3-2: 5 (Ricardo Winicki)
T2. Argentina 2-3: 5 (Mariano Reutemann)
T4. USA 5-4: 9 (Ben Barger/Tampa, Fla.)
T4. Venezuela 4-5: 9 (Carlos Flores)

RS:X Women (7 boats) - 1 race
1. Canada 1 (Dominique Vallee)
2. Argentina 2 (Florencia Gutierrez)
3. USA 3 (Nancy Rios/Cocoa Beach, Fla.)

Lightning (7 boats) -- 2 races
1. Chile 1-1: 2 (Alberton Gonzalez, Diego Gonzalez, Cristian Herman)
2. Brazil 2-3: 5 (Claudio Biekarck, Gunnar Ficker, Silva Marcelo)
T3. Ecuador 5-2: 7 (Sebastian Herrera Castro, Juan Santos Dillon, Juan
Santos Garces)
T3. USA 3-4: 7 (Bill Faude/Chicago, Ill.; David Starck/Buffalo, N.Y.; Jody
Starck/Buffalo, N.Y.)

Sunfish (11 boats) -- 2 races
1. Venezuela 3-1: 4 (Eduardo Cordero)
T2. Peru 1-6: 7 (Alexander Zimmermann)
T2. Virgin Islands 5-2: 7 (Peter Stanton)
T2. USA 2-5: 7 (Paul Foerster/Rockwall, Texas)

J24 (7 boats) -- 2 races
1. Argentina 1-2: 3 (Joaquin Duarte Argerich, Gustavo Gonzalez, Sebastian
Peri Brusa, Alejo Rigoni)
T2. Uruguay 4-3: 7 (Alejandro Foglia Mafio, Sebastian Rana, Nicolas Shaban,
Santiago Silveria)
T2. Canada 3-4: 7 (Mark Goodyear, Rossi Milev, Erwyn Naidoo, Mike Wolfs)
6. USA 6-5: 11 (Daniel Borrer/St. Augustine Beach, Fla.; Nate
Vilardebo/Tampa, Fla.;Patrick Wilson/Savannah, Ga.; Josh Putnam/Augusta,

Hobie Cat 16 (8 boats) -- 2 races
1. Brazil 1-1: 2 (Bernardo Arndt, Bruno Oliveira)
2. Guatemala 3-2: 5 (Cristina Guirola, Juan Ignacio Maegli)
3. Venezuela 4-3: 7 (Gonzalo Cendra, Yamil Saba)
T5. USA 6-4: 10 (Bob Merrick/Branford, Conn.; Eliza Cleveland/Branford,
T5. MEX 5-5: 10 (Javier Cabildo Quiroz, Katia Dennise Real Lopez)

Snipe (11 boats) -- 2 races
T1. Brazil 1-3:4 (Pedro Amaral, Alexandre Paradeda)
T1. Uruguay 2-2: 4 (Pablo Defazio, Eduardo Medici)
3. Argentina 6-1: 7 (Francisco Bonaventura, Adrian Oscar Marcatelli)
4. USA 5-4: 9 (Augie Diaz/Miami, Fla.; Tracy Smith/Newport, R.I.)

I'm totally sick right now. Trying to go back to bed. Darned cough keeps waking me up. It's raining outside and about 55 degrees right now. Who knows what it will be like in a couple of hours.

Tonight's "Neatest Thing That Happened Today" Dedicated to Camryn and Sabrina:
Jody brought advil. That's about the best thing I can say for today.

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