Very light wind made today very challenging for the 25 teams competing in the SSL Finals here in Nassau. It was a balmy 84 degrees with 4-6 knots of wind from the southeast out off the track today. The Italians were on fire!
Francesco Bruni of Palermo posted a 4, 1 while his countryman Diego Negri scored a 3, 3 in these light conditions. Meanwhile Mark Mendleblatt and Brian Fatih maintained their consistency with a 1, 2 taking over the lead in the qualification series while Robert Scheidt slipped to second place with scores of 2, 19. Beyond that, there was plenty of mixing. Phil and I had an decent day with a 14, 9. We were never at the front of the fleet having gone the wrong way on the first legs of each race. In race 2, we hit the right side hard on the third leg and made a nice comeback from about 15th. We managed to stay in 4th place which is a pleasant surprise and testament to the “trading” of positions that is going on in this fleet.
Three races are on the cards for tomorrow and the forecast is for 13-15 knots from the south southeast. This will make for shifty racing as the wind will be coming over the island and onto the race course. The seaway should be fairly flat.
I can’t tell you how much fun Phil and I are having racing against all these great sailors. There is no other event in sailing that brings Olympic champions, World Champions, Round the World Record holders, Round the World Race winners and America’s Cup winners, together in a one design sailing contest. Then to hold the races on the waters off the east end of Nassau, which is in my opinion the best sailboat racing waters in the world, makes the SSL Finals even more exceptional.
Finally, I want to say that it is an honor to be on the same race track with these athletes who have put a lifetime of effort, passion and commitment to achieve all that they have!
Remember to follow the racing live at StarSailors.com.
Looking forward to racing tomorrow!