Monday, September 14, 2009

Sail for Gold, Day 1

The northeast wind we have been experiencing for the past week is apparently a "summer" condition.  Although temperatures have been sometimes chilly, it's been sunny and dry, which is great for drying out wet gear.  Northeast conditions are expected throughout the rest of the regatta, but we should have about 20 knots tomorrow.  From what I've experienced so far at this venue, this direction doesn't get quite as nuclear as the normal southwest breeze.

Northeast is shifty and gusty, and on the racecourse today we had as much as 15 knots and as little as 6-8.  The boards are still inside the harbor walls, but we are sharing the harbor with the paralympic fleets, so the race committee is forgoing the normal trapezoid course in favor of a windward-leeward course to save a bit of space.  There are 10 races in the series, so we are on schedule for two a day.  

Today I had some good and bad moments.  Although I had a good start for the first race, I started with the really fast girls in the fleet.  After the start, I got rolled and didn't tack out because I was too focused on my plan for the upwind...rookie mistake that put me towards the rear of the pack.  I had a tactically sound second upwind and made up some places, and had some really good jibes through the slalom finish.  I had an incredible start during the second race, which turned out to be a little too good as I was over early, adding an OCS to my score.  

Overall I wasn't unhappy about my day, as there were many things that I improved greatly.  The rest of the American team had a bit of a shaky start to the regatta (except for Ben, who is in 6th place in the RS:X men's fleet) but as everyone is learning the venue, I expect we will bounce back quickly.  I'm enjoying the back-to-back regattas as it forces me to relax and focus on the learning process.

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