Leba, Poland - August 3, 2008 - Only one race for the girls was held on the last day of the Allegro Cup. Although the wind filled in early, small rain systems were moving through. After one race for the men’s gold fleet, the wind died again with the coming rain. The committee called us out, but sent us back in again, and we waited on the beach for few hours. Finally, the wind switched directions and began to fill. We started only a few minutes after the men’s blue fleet. Unfortunately, I jumped the gun again with an OCS. During the race, the wind began to build a lot until it was 18-plus knots. The 9.5 RS:X sail that I had was pretty hard to handle and I lost a lot of ground fighting to keep it under control. It was great, however, to get to really apply the technique I had spent the regatta working on.
After our race, it was already around 5:00 pm, so we knew it was the last race for us and began packing. The men’s gold fleet had two more races in the 18-plus knots, much to the delight of the high wind sailors, who finally had a good chance to climb the ranks.
I didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony because my mom had flown in to visit me, and I wanted to get her home with time to unpack the equipment at the club in Sopot. Congratulations to the winners of the event: in the men’s fleet, Steve Allen (AUS), Ross Williams (GBR), and Jesper Vesterstrom (DEN). In the women’s fleet, Marta Hlavaty from the Polish Olympic Team took first, followed by Agnieska Pietrasik (POL) and Maarja Niinemets (EST). In fourth by only a few points was Anna Galecka, also from the Polish Olympic Team, who was the only other girl using an RS:X sail for the event. Other notable performances included Pawel Hlavaty, Marta’s brother, who finished in sixth, and Steve Bodner (check out his blog at http://stevebodner.blogspot.com/), my fellow American in attendance, who finished 44th in the very competitive gold fleet with some great racing in the windy conditions.
During the regatta I learned some exciting news: Starboard will have some of the new Formula One-Design kits available for free during the Formula World Championships coming up this September in Portimao, Portugal. I had not thought of doing that regatta because of the great expense for equipment charter, but now the option is open, and I will definitely attend. It is really thrilling to get to test the new equipment at such a high-profile event! I am happy for the opportunity to review the new gear and more importantly, develop my skills further at a very competitive regatta.
My mother and I will be doing some sightseeing for the next few days, and then I’ll be reporting on the Olympics! Stay tuned for more updates.