It ended well. Today, we were greeted with more typical San Francisco Bay conditions. Windy, cold, foggy and big current. Both races today were decided by a big move on the first run. In the first race of the day, Howie Shiebler and his crew Will Stout hung it out into the middle of the bay and got that last of the flood to win the race. We finished fourth in that one and with Freddy Loof finishing third we went into the last race tied with Shiebler and 2 points ahead of Loof/Eckstrom.
All the starts on the city front racing, it was important for current reasons, to start at the left end of the line. In three out of the four starts we won the left end of the line, once we were over early and restarted but still won that race after quickly gybing around the pin.
We had a good start in the last race just to leeward of Shiebler/Stout. We could not pinch them off so we drag raced out to the left side. We had to tack first and duck Shiebler and this put him in control of the race and the regatta. However, he got caught up in some traffic and we sprung free of him to round the first mark right on his heels. He gybed out to the middle, a move which won him the first race, and we continued straight along the city front. It was a regatta-winning move for us this time as Shiebler and all those who gybed immediately lost several hundred yards when we converged down at the leeward mark off Alcatraz. 1992 World Champions Carl Buchan and Hugo Schriener led at the leeward mark and won the race. For us, once we rounded the leeward mark it is a matter of not making any big mistakes for the rest of the race.
We finished second and won the regatta with 12 points. Both Loof and Shiebler sailed their worst races of the regatta and that meant that Loof/Eckstrom beat Sheibler/Stout by one point, 20 to 21. Mark Reynolds and Magnus Lijedahl moved up to 4th over all with a 6,4 for the day and Eric Doyle and Rodrigo Meireles finished fifth.
It is always nice to win on your home waters and your home club. I have to say that I was proud of our clubs’ management and in particular regatta chairman Chris Shinning and our professional race director John Craig. They used great judgement in getting six good races in in conditions that are not very straightforward. And when postponing ashore for lack of wind or fog (this morning), they made an effort to personally walk around the docks and communicate what they were thinking to the competitors. I think this made the regatta fun and friendly for the all.
For Phil and I it is another nice achievement on our path to the Olympics next summer. There is still plenty of room for improvement so no slowing down for us. Well, maybe we’ll take tomorrow morning off from the gym.