Kiel Week is finally over and during the past few days, North Germany has been giving us some incredibly pleasant weather. Unfortunately, when the weather is beautiful, there usually isn't much wind!
The third day of racing turned into a lay day as the wind changed directions multiple times. We were called out to wait on the course for a couple hours, but the wind never reached a race-able strength.
Getting a ride in with Solvig Sayre and John Bertrand; Bob Willis gets a tow surf!
Conditions were fairly similar for the fourth and last day of racing. Offshore drainage in the morning turned into a very weak sea breeze in the afternoon. Clouds hung over the land, suppressing the thermal effect of the breeze. As everyone was quite impatient to race after so much delay from light wind, the committee started the men immediately. However, after the men's starts, the wind dropped again and the women were delayed. The wind shifted 30 degrees a few times, and finally a round of sailable pressure came in. As I'm still working on technique in the ultra-light stuff, I sailed a tactically solid race but just didn't have speed to escape into clean air.
The second start was delayed again, and after waiting an hour and one general recall, the committee started the women after the last fleet of youth. The decision to start us last was met with catcalls and boos from the women sailors, as we had less races completed than the men and it seemed we were low priority. We raced in the last dying gasps of the sea breeze, and it was one of those events where you just hope you won't spin in circles trying to get upwind. It took almost an hour to get around the course pumping the entire time.
I feel pretty good about this regatta as the conditions were difficult every day we sailed. We raced mainly in conditions that aren't my forte and in which my technique is still very developmental. The pumping technique is getting better, however, and it was good to see I could manage a couple of 15th places on the last day. Without consistent coaching, it is difficult to make rapid improvements in technique. Although I can always watch and mimic fast sailors, without analysis minute but important details are hard to discover on my own. It is a testament to fitness and now 4 years of trial-and-error hard work, plus a few sessions of coaching last year, that I can hang with the fleet.
My next regatta will be the European Championships at my home venue of Sopot, Poland. I'm very much looking forward to racing a big event in Poland.