Race Day 3

We had our best and worst today. In fact 4 out of the top 5 had their worst race today.

The wind was 8 knots in the first race from 125 and 6 knots in the second race from 120.

In the first race, we won the pin end and were able to tack and cross the fleet. It is nice to be able to look at the whole fleet in the window of your mainsail. However by the time we got to the windward mark, we were third and despite a few ups and downs we stayed there. On the last run of that race, the leaders, Marazzi of Switzerland got whistled for a rule 42 (kinetics) violation, and had to do a 720 penalty turn. That gave the win to Beashal/Giles (AUS), Marazzi finished second, us third, Sheibler 4th. Howie and his crew Will were 6th in the second race and had the best score for the day. They are now in 10th overall.

The second race we were determined to go right off the line. We had a bad start but were able to get clear air fairly shortly. But the real problem was that the wind went 10 degrees left and there was a bit more pressure over there too. So we rounded the windward mark about 50th. We passed a few and ended up 37th.

The committee wanted to go for a third race but in the end sent us in as the wind was getting very light and unstable. So we all towed in and did a few things on the boat. Then I went to the gym with my trainer Sam. That felt good.

So after six races the positions are: 1) Reynolds/Erickson (USA) 37, 2) Beashal/Giles (AUS) 44, 3) Loof/Eckstrom (SWE) 51, 4) Domingos/Santos (POR) 51, 5) Cayard/Trinter (USA) 52, 6) Holm/Olsen (DEN) 53, 7) Koch/Koy (GER) 55, 8) Neeleman/Van Niekerk (NED) 58. As you can see, it is very close and a lot can happened tomorrow.

The forecast for tomorrow is very light wind. So it will be shifty, fluky and difficult.

You can check on the complete results at :www.ussailing.org/olympics/RolexMiamiOCR/index.htm

Race Day 2

Today we had some consistency and some luck. The day started out with 16-22 knots from the Northwest. This is typically a very shifty direct as the wind comes off the shore and today was typical. Sometimes the left looks good and sometimes the right comes good. Very hard to know.

In the first two races we had decent starts and were always in the top 10 and finished up with a 9 and 8.

For race 3 the wind dropped a bit and we changed mainsails from our heavy air main to our standard. We had a bad start for race 3. I am still a bit gun-shy on the starting line having been called over early several times this winter. So I was back just a bit at the start of race three and we got rolled by just a bout everyone. We went to the right as that was the forecast as the wind dropped but the wind went left instead. So we were about 55th at the first mark. It didn’t feel or look good. But we hung in there and after rounding the leeward we tried the right again and lucky for us, it worked. We got a big shift right and passed 40 boats to finish 12th. That looked and felt GOOD.

So after 4 races, we are lying 5th with 49 points.

Mark Reynolds and Steve Erickson(USA) are in 1st with 29 points, Freddy Loof/Anders Ekstrom (SWE) 2nd, Colin Beashal/David Giles(AUS) 3rd, Peter Bromby/Martin Siese(BER) 4th. Neatherlands and Denmark are 6th and 7th to make the USA the only country with 2 teams in the top 7.

Ian Percy/Steve Mitchell(GBR) were Black Flagged in race number 2 but after six races they will get to discard that and currently their other three scores are 1,5,8 mso they wil be back in the counting by the end of tomorrow.

The forecast for tomorrow is very light winds; 4-8 knots from the Northeast so it wil be a tricky day. As if today wasn’t tricky enough.

Race Day 1

We had a windy forecast today; 15-20 from the south going southwest and west with a cold front approaching. Things started off slower than expected with less than 10 knots of wind from 200 up to 1030. So we changed from our heavy air mainsail to our all-around main at 1030. As soon as we did that, the wind filled in to 15 knots with stronger gusts.

We had one general recall and then a black flag start. The line was square and no one got caught by the black flag. We were a bit too gun shy and got swallowed up by the pack. The course was short enough, 1.5 miles, that the boats stayed pretty tightly grouped so if you were not in the first 10 you did not have clear air. We battled around the track in 25th and wound up 20th. Freddy Loof (SWE), last weekends winner, was just in front of us the whole race and finished 17th. I think our speed was just fine, it was just a matter of getting our nose in a clear lane. Ian Percy and Steve Mitchell (GBR) won the race with Mark Reynolds/Steve Erickson (USA) second, and

Koch(GER) third.

The second race had the same sequence, one general recall then the black flag. The front was in sight at the warning to the start so it was a bit strange that the committee started us. Sure enough 2/3rds of the way up the beat, the wind shifted 50 degrees right and the whole fleet reached into the windward mark. The race committee did the right thing and abandoned the race right there and sent everyone in as the fleet was hit by a squall with 25-30 knots and lots of rain. We took our brand new mainsail down, rolled it up on the boom to save it from getting abused by the gusts, towed in behind our Protector and won the race to the dock. Upon arriving at the dock we learned that three boats were caught by the black flag and won

Race Day 2

We finally got a finish and quite a few people did not. There were two races today, both in 5-7 knots of wind from the southeast. In both starts, we had one general recall with the line biased to the left side by 15 degrees and then without moving the line the committee put up the black flag and nailed 18 boats. Countless others got away as those who were caught covered them up. It didn

Race Day 1

Today were are back at it in Miami after a week in Key West Sailing the Farr 40. Phil could not make it today as he was attending his wife Chrissy’s induction into the Hall of Fame at her University. So I had to bring one of my long time friends, Rod Davis, out of retirement. He had not crewed in a Star since 1977 but he did a great job. Rod has a Gold and Silver medal so I am hoping some of his skill rubbed off on me.

The day did not start our easily. First of all I got up at 0500 in Key West and drove to Miami with my wife Icka. We had a nice breakfast and got down to the club by 0930. Everything was good up to that point. Then on the way out to the starting line I realized that one of my mainsheet cleats was broken. So we had to borrow a tool from Eric Doyle and rob a spring from another cleat on the boat and put it all back together while en-route to the starting line. No real drama though as we had left the dock with plenty of time to spare. Just a little training of repairs at sea. That sparked a whole discussion on the Whitbread (“What is the worst repair you have to make at sea in the Whitbread?”) for the next 40 minutes, between Rod and I.

The race was started at 12:00 in a dying northerly wind. We wanted to go left before the start and left we went. The left paid big and we rounded the first mark 3rd behind George Szabo, (with his boat fixed1) and Nicholas Holm of Denmark. There were 71 boats out on the water today! The wind continued to die…at this point there was 5 knots of wind and patchy. We passed Holm on the run to round 2nd and Vince Brun got into third. At this point there was almost no wind. We coasted around the rest of the way and crossed the line 2nd to John MacCausland who had been about 7th at the previous mark.

I was very happy as this was the first race that I had actually finished this year and it was a damn good position. Rod was relieved when it was over because he spent most of the race in very uncomfortable positions on the leeward side of the boat.

When we got back to the dock, the race committee decided to abandon the race. That was a bit baffling. Their reasons were that too many boats finished at the same time in places 30-60, and they could not get the scores correct.

So we still haven’t finished a race yet this year. Tomorrow 2 races are scheduled

Race Day 1

We are back at it here in Miami. We got into town last Wednesday, trained Thursday and Friday and raced today. Well, we tried to race today. We actually had one of those days where you think you have forgotten how to sail.

This weekend

New Years Resolutions

The holidays are a great time of year to be with family and friends but when you have the Olympic qualifications on your agenda, it is kind of nice when the holidays are over and you can get back to it. While it was all very nice and enjoyable, I don