Day 3

Before the first race a batten pocket in our mainsail tore. We had a spare mainsail out there but it was the wrong one for the conditions. So I sewed the batten pocket back together 10 minutes before the start. Put me on Martha Stewart.

The Meltemi prevailed again today, a bit stronger than yesterday. We had 10-18 knots with some shots of 20. Still every uses they light air sails as the lulls of 10 are killers if you don’t have enough power.

In the first race we were fighting for first with the German team on the first lap then a few 25-degree wind shifts came through and reshuffled things. Grael (BRA) ended up going from 10th to 1st on one beat and the German we to 6th. We managed to hang onto third. Percy (GBR) broke his rig and therefore scored two last places for the day.

Second race we did not sail that well but Beashal (AUS) who finished second was OCS and Leo the Greek who was fifth was overweight on the weigh-in after so he got disqualified. So our fifth place across the line translated into another third and we won the day.

So now we are in third place, 5 points out of 1st! Moving up.

Bromby of Bermuda is first with 15 points, Grael of Brazil is second with 17, USA is third with 20. I can’t remember who is fourth

Cadiz Race Day 5

It feels like the world is coming to the end then you realize that it is just a sailboat race.

Today was the first day of the combined fleet. So all the best teams on the same race course.

Race 1 toady, we led wire around all the marks, lost 4 boats on the run to the finish and thought that was bad. Then when we got back to the dock we found out that we were OCS~over early at the start. The bummer is that I asked Phil to check for the

Day 2

The shifty Meltemi conditions of yesterday continued today despite a sea breeze being forecasted.

The start of race one got off at 1400 in 8-12 knots of wind. We got into a bad situation at the first windward mark and fouled the Greek boat and had to do a 720 penalty turn. That put us in last. From there it was all uphill but we only managed to get back to 10 th .

In the second race, again 8-12 knots, we were 5 th at the first mark and managed to grab the lead by the first leeward mark. From there we controlled the lead and logged out first win!

That put us in 4 th place for the regatta and in good company with the race winners being USA , Bermuda , UK and Brazil .

Leading a race that is very shifty is not that easy. Very steady conditions make holding the lead easier because there are fewer opportunities for the boats behind to pass. So when you are leading a shifty race, you have to continue to play the shifts and that means taking some risk. But again, that is the only way to stay ahead. So the most satisfying part of our win was holding the lead for four legs.

Not sure what the forecast has in store for us tomorrow but so far, we have never seen anything straight forward out there.

Day 4

One race today that started at 1600. The Tornados were sharing our race course today so they got to start at 12:00 and we had to wait until they were done. The wind was 16-18 knots from 125.nice big waves for surfing downwind.

We had a good start near the leeward end and going left. We were close with Percy and Bromby coming out of that but up toward the windward mark, we feel in a bit of a hole and they got lifted and rounded quite a bit ahead. In fact, we lost about 7 boats within 2 minutes of the top mark. Down the first run, those who gybe set had a lot more pressure. We lost 10 boats on that run to round the leeward mark about 20th. Up the second beat we had good speed and the left was good to us. We rounded the top mark 12th and had a fast run to pass 5 more boats and finish 7th.

That moved us up to 10th overall. We are just not consistent enough in both our speed and our tactics. It won’t take much improving to make a significant difference. But we have to do it.

Now the fleet will be divided into two groups; the top 45 and the second 45. We will stay in those groups until the end of the regatta, which is scheduled to be 5 more races.

Ian Percy (GBR) is putting on a clinic, winning again to day. He is very fast in this breeze. In the other fleet a Frenchman named Xavier Rohart is doing quite well and is just 3 points behind Percy. Percy won the Worlds last year in Marina Del Rey and Rohart was second. Freddy Loof, the 2001 World Champion from Sweden is moving up nicely into 3rd overall. Torben Grael who was second at last years worlds and first in Athens this summer, is 15th currently.

Tomorrow we start at 12:00 for two races.

Scores are at www.cadiz2003.com.

Race Day 1

The first thing that happened today was that the organizers decided at 10:00 ( today ) that all classes could not race at the same time. There are four racecourses and 11 classes so some courses have three classes on them. So they told the Star, 49er and Tornado classes to stay in and their races would follow the finish of the others on their course. So we had to sit at the venue for four hours in sweltering heat waiting to go out. Now don’t you think they could have figured that out yesterday, if not two years ago?

We finally left the dock at 2:30 and started out first race at 4:00 . We raced in the northerly breeze called the Meltemi here in Athens . This wind comes off the land and is very hot but more importantly to sailors, very shifty. That is to say that it is neither steady in velocity nor direction. This makes race sailboats very tricky. The general strength of the wind was about 12-14 knots so that was good. The temperature here is about 100 degrees every day so you sail in a T-shirt and shorts, which is pleasant.

The races were about 8 miles in length and took about 90 minutes each to complete. In the first race we finished 10 th . This was frustrating, as halfway through, we were fourth. What happened to us is that we go out of phase with these wind shifts and when that happens, you end up sailing a much longer course to the buoys. How does one get out of phase well, partly being stupid and not reading the wind well and partly getting into traffic with other boats and having them dictate which way you go. We got tangled up with the Swiss boat on the second windward leg and missed a few shifts and next thing we knew 6 boats had passed us. OK. That was the first race.

The second race we finished third, which was much more enjoyable. We battled the whole race with Bermuda , Brazil and Great Britain , which are the strong competitors in this class. At the world championship last year the British team won, Brazil was second, we were fourth and Bermuda was 6th, so we are used to battling it out with these guys.

After two races, Great Britain is first, Bermuda is second, Germany is third, Netherlands 4 th and USA 5 th .

It will be a long regatta

Day 3

2 races were scheduled today. We got down to the boat early and changed masts. The one from yesterday is not bent badly.we can straighten it.but I did not want to screw around with that this morning. We also put our light air main on, which is quickly becoming our all-purpose main.

As we had been getting smacked out on the right all day yesterday, we decided to go left in the first race today. It was 8 knots off the line and we were going well with Mark Reynolds who had done well yesterday in the left. About half way up the beat, a big shift with pressure filled in from the right. We rounded the first mark about 40th. Scrambled to find clear air the rest of the race and finished 19th. The Italian, Bruni did well, 3rd, and Ian Percy, the current world champion was 2nd.

In the second race we had a good start, went very fast and went left. The breeze was in and this was the conditions when the left paid yesterday. We

were leading the left, in fact we won the left side but got the windward mark 4th. The leaders came out of the right. More pressure and a 10 degree

shift. We passed Percy and another guy on the first run.very good speed and round the leeward mark second behind Bromby (BER). Up the second beat, now

in 16 knots of wind, we all stayed pretty close but Percy got inside us just at the windward mark. The wind had gone far enough right that it was a gybe set and lay the finish. So we finished third and Percy got by Bromby.

All in all, not terrible but not world championship caliber sailing by us. We are making too many small mistakes and you cant afford that in this

fleet.

Tomorrow was supposed to be our lay-day but we have one race to finish the qualification series at 1500.

We are still in 12th and still top Americans. The scores now have a “drop”. The leader has 5 points and we have 25. Bromby is in 8th with 20. So, as

we saw in Athens, a lot can change from here to the end. 5 races done, 6 to go.

Time to hang tough. Not quite half-way done.

Check the scores at www.Cadiz2003.com

Day 2

We got three races in today. The first one in 12 knots, the second in 18 knots and the last one in 22 knots. Then after the last race it was a 5 mile beat back to the harbor. I think everyone is pretty tired. It is 20:05 right now.

We had our heavy air rig and sails on as the forecast was for a moderately strong “Levante” today and it looked pretty good for that this morning. Sailing out to the start it was about 16 knots so that was perfect. Then just at the start of the first race the wind dropped to 11-12 knots and stayed that way for the whole race. We weren’t setting the world on fire and we didn’t sail particularly smart either. We got 14th in that one. A young Italian who sailed 49ers at the last Olympics won the race in our group.

We are divided into two groups. So there at twice as many people getting 1st, 2nd and thirds, etc. in each race. Also, you don’t race everyone so it is kind of strange.

For the second race the wind was back up to 16knots and we had a great start at the windward end. After about 8 minutes, Colin Beashal, (Australia) was coming out of the left and was going to cross us by about 2 lengths. Then he dropped his rig right in front of us. We tacked out of that mess but that was a close call. On the first run, surfing conditions now, the running backstay came out of the cleat. It was only in one, and it came out. The rig was about 6 feet over the bow, bent in a very ugly way. It should have come down. I headed up quickly into the wind and Phil reset the backstay. WE saved the rig and the worlds right there. We had a few problems with the rig after that but managed to get a fifth out of that mess.

Third race, 22 knots, big waves because the current had now shifted and was going against the wind. We had a bad start because the only guy who was over early was right in front of us. We had to tack out, duck a few people and get a clear lane out to the right. The left had been paying all day and we never seemed to get that through our heads. The course for the third race was an old “Gold Cup” course which is beat, reach, reach, beat and run to the finish.also called a “Triangle-windward-Leward. We got to the first mark about 10th but took the “low road” on the first reach and blew through about five guys to round the reach mark 5th. Same at the bottom mark. Then we passed two guys up the second beat and held third on the run.

All in all we survived more than we raced which is a bad thing for today but the good side is that our speed is pretty good so if we can get out act together we should be in good shape tomorrow.

The Italian, Francesco Bruni, won our group today and is leading overall. Xavier Rohart, France, was the top boat in the other group. We were about fifth in our group, 12th overall and top American so far. Tomorrow we will be in different groups according to the finishing positions of today. I am not sure but I think we are scheduled for three races again tomorrow.

We have to take our rig down tomorrow early and check it. A first check of

it seemed like it was ok.

That’s about all I can do for tonight.

I think you can get the results at www.cadizworlds2003.com.

Arrived

I arrived in Athens at 3:00 pm Thursday the 14th, after the standard 20 hour trip, to a pleasant 95 degree temperature. My crew, Phil, had gone to Italy on Monday to get our new Star boat and drive it to Ancona where they boarded a Ferry to Patras in Greece . From there it was a four hour drive to Athens and the Olympic Venue. We hooked up around 5:00 pm at the Olympic Village.

The first order of business was to get into the Village. To do this everyone must be credentialed. This is a registration process that involves showing your passport and getting a photo ID made that you use to enter the venue each day. Without the credential you don’t do anything. Entering the venue is like getting on a flight. A line to go through the X-Ray machine, the guards go through your bags, shoes off, etc. The whole nine yards. The amount of security is impressive.

Once we got that done, around 6:00 pm , we went to work on rigging our brand new boat. With the heat, late in the day is the best time to work on the land. So we spent three hours checking everything and rigging the mast. We left the Venue feeling like we had put a good days work in and we went back to our hotel, called the Palace (I am not sure what “Palace” means in Greece but it isn’t what you’d expect) ate dinner, took a shower and hit the sack by 11:30.

Slept reasonably last night even though there is a 10 hour time difference between Pacific Daylight Time and Greek time. Today we got down to the Venue around 0900 and went to work our list of thing to fine tune on the boat. Then we got the boat in the water at 11:00 , went to the Athletes Village for lunch and headed out for our maiden voyage at 12:30 . We sailed against the Spanish team for a couple of hours, made a few adjustments and got back to the dock by 5:00pm and hauled the boat out. The Star is a 2 man keel boat, about 22 feet long and weight 1400 pounds, so it gets craned in and out of the water. We did a few more projects and left the venue around 7:00pm for a US Sailing Team meeting at 7:30 pm .

The US Sailing team consists of about 20 athletes and 4 coaches. At the Olympic games, there are several different disciplines (classes of boats), such as Catamaran, sailboard, 1 man dinghy, 2 man dinghy and men’s and women’s classes in each. Each class has different ideal weight of its crew members. Most people who have Olympic campaigns are younger than 28. I am a bit of an exception and was pleasantly surprised to win the US ranking system in the Star class this year and therefore qualify to attend this “Pre-Olympic” event. If we when the US Olympic Trials next March, this experience will be very valuable. As in the Olympics, there is just one boat per country in each class.

Tomorrow I am going to the gym and then we will sail again. Sunday our boat and sails will be measured, weighed and completely scrutinized by the measurement authority. Phil and I will be weighed also as there is a maximum weight that we can be. Crew weight is fast in sail boats as the crew project their weight outboard to counter balance the wind blowing against the sails. The more you weigh, the more wind you can hold in your sails, and the faster you go. That is as long as you are fit enough to hold your weight out over the side for two hours, twice a day in 90 degree heat. So, off to the gym.

Day 1

Too much wind! We had the “Levante” wind today blowing 25-30 knots so no racing for Stars. The girls in the Yngling class raced though, so the big macho guys from the Star class did not look to flash.

The “Levante” is akin to the Meltemi of Athens. It is a gradient wind created by a high pressure to the north and a low over Morocco . This creates an easterly gradient that can be as strong as 50 knots or light enough to get over powered by the “sea breeze” which is what happened yesterday.

Yesterday, after waiting for the land to heat up so the sea breeze could overpower the Levante, we had the practice race mat 15:30 in a sea breeze of 7-9 knots. The format here is to divided the fleet into 2 groups. Each day the division is redone according to the scores of the previous days. It is a complicated system but the idea is to race in smaller fleets..45-50 boats per fleet. After 6 races, the top half will race in the gold fleet for the championship. The bottom half will race in the Silver fleet. All your races count for the total score except one throw out which starts factoring into the scores after 6 races are completed.

In yesterdays race we finished fourth which wasn’t bad considering we were 25 th at the first mark. The wind shifted 90 left on the first beat and we went right early.

This morning we changed masts to put our heavy air rig in. That would have been good for today and should still be good for tomorrow. The forecast for tomorrow is 16-22 knots. 3 races are scheduled for tomorrow so you have to be careful not to have any major issue, like breaking the rig, in the first or second race. You would be out of the regatta if that happened.

So for tonight it is the gym, early dinner and big sleep. 3 races in 22 knots will be a work out!

Pre-Day 1

Phil and I got off to a good start here in Cadiz by having Iberia loose you bags. They tell me that is normal here. Anyway after considerable confusion and hand waiving we got the bags at 11:00 at night and only got a little lost driving back to the apartment.

Thursday we rigged the boat and went for a short sail. Very light and fluky winds but a good tune up any way. Went to the restaurant