The medal ceremony, last night, was special. It is the music, the pace and formality medals to the presenter on a silver platter, the way they announce the names and their countries, and the raising of the flags and finally the applause
Would of, could of, should of. We got the Silver. Not bad. Saving some improvement for next year.
The day started out with us in fourth, 5 points out of first. We knew it would be all on today because of the caliber of the competition and the conditions.
It was too light to race at 1300 so we were postponed for 1 hour. Then we started in a 6 knots sea breeze, which build to 10 knots at the end of race one. We had a tough start with GER over early on top of us, and not going back. So we dug right and rounded the first mark 8 th , with all our competitors ahead of us. Nice work down the first run and we were fourth. The training we did yesterday with Ross MacDonnald was paying off as you speed was great. We kept gaining ground and finished second beating all our competitors. We were now tied for first with Grael..
So the set up for the last race was basically, who beat who between us, Grael (BRA) and Bromby (BER). Germany had been OCS (over the start early) so the ate their previously worst race, a 9 th .
We won the committee boat end of the start but just as we came off the line the wind went 10 degrees against us. We tacked immediately. This put us in the right corner with a huge split with our competition, not exactly what we wanted. We were patient and waited for the shift to come back and then we tacked. We ended up about 6 th at the windward mark behind both Bromby and Grael. Down the run we caught some waves and passed both of them. We held our own us the second beat but made a mistake in over standing the mark and that made it very close with the three of us again for the run. Just at the end of the run Grael was able to block us from gybing to round the mark and that was the series. We ended up getting forced the wrong way but hung tough and finished 6 th while Grael got fourth. Bromby had a bad race and ended up losing third to the Germans.
Ian Percy (GBR) won both races today displaying great speed but he was also not challenged by any of us as we ended up doing a lot of covering and tacking on each other. Still, Percy has speed that is not to be ignored.
God likes us. Nothing bad happened to us before the start, we had a good start sailed well on the first lap and rounded the first downwind mark in 5 th . Then, the wind started getting weird. First it was our turn to loose a bunch. People on all sides of us had a better shift and more pressure. By the time we got to the 2 nd windward mark we had lost 7 boats and were in 12 th . Pickle (GER) was winning with Bromby in 2 nd, (NED) in fourth, Grael (BRA) was behind us. Then on the second run, god smiled on us and wasn’t kind to the others. We passed 8 boats and rounded the second downwind mark 4 th . Up the final windward leg the wind totally died at one point. Bromby got the worst of it and went from 2 nd to 15 th . Pickle went from 1 st to 5 th . A complete reshuffle. We managed to stay in fourth, somehow.
The last run was almost a reach until the end when the wind dies and shifted back to the right to make a square finish. We had a photo finish with Pickle (GER) and Marazzi (SUI) and we got both of them on the line.
Beashel (AUS) won, MacDonnald (CAN) got the French on the finish line, (FRA) third, ( USA ) fourth, (GER) fifth, (SUI) 6 th . Notables were Grael (BRA) 8 th , (NED; who we were tied with this morning) 12 th , and Bromby (BER) 15 th .
The overall situation is: BRA 35 points, BER and GER 39, USA 40, NED 49, CAN 54, AUS/FRA 58.
Only one race was scheduled and only one race could have been sailed anyway. The Finns and Yngling’s did not get a race in. Only other class to get a race in were the Tornado’s.
We have a lay day tomorrow and the last two races are scheduled for Wednesday. We are planning to train with MacDonnald on the water and then go to the gym after that.
Wednesday will be a big day! We have said many times out there, “Imagine if this was for a gold medal?” It is crazy sailing here.
One race today and we treaded water. Actually we did close in quite a bit on the guys in front of us, finishing 4 points out of 6th but not enough to pass them.
The race got started in 7 knots of wind from 290 at 1430. We had a bad start in that a couple of boats just to windward of us were over the top of us. They must have had a better line sight that we did because I was afraid to go with them and be OCS (over early). We battled to get a clear lane out to the left and survived to round the first mark about 18th.
The whole rest of the race we slowly chewed people up and finished 10th. Interestingly, Ian Percy who was on fire in the 18 knots breeze had trouble again today. He was ahead of us at the first mark but finished 23rd. Both guys who were within a point of us in the standings, Bruni (ITA) and Tracy (IRL), were deep. Bromby (BER) and Neeleman (NED) were also deep and for a while we had the points on them to pass them in the standings. But they were able to pick off some people too and we missed them by 2 and 4 points respectively.
Final standings are:
In hind sight, where we lost a lot of points was two days ago with an OCS when we finished 5th and a 13th when we had been 2nd all race long. We ate about 17 points that day. This was my second worst finish in nine Star World Championships. My worst was a 10th in 1989. Some other notables had a hard time too. Torben Grael (BRA), who won the gold in Athens in August and the European Championship in early September, finished 32nd. He never beat us in one race in Cadiz. Mark Pickle (GER) who got Bronze in Athens finished 19th in Cadiz.
Yet, we are the top Americans again this year. Second American was Mark Reynolds in 18th. Last year we were top Americans, finished 4th at the worlds and qualified the country for the Olympics.
So looking at the big picture, which is getting ourselves prepared for the US Olympic Trials next year and then onto a medal in Athens, we have built a good foundation. We have some long-term projects under well way; like me gaining 20 pounds for the weight rule and being happy that we have our new boat sorted out and on its way to Miami. We have to work hard between now and March 18th to keep making gains.
We have already mapped out our training sessions in Miami this winter
Sailing is a beautifully sport some days. Today was one for us. We got a third and moved ourselves up into 8th over all.
We were scheduled to start at 1500 after the Tornados but at 1500 the Tornados still had not raced. Nada Vento on the Charlie course today and very little wind anywhere else. The Levante was dying out and the sea breeze was slow to fill in. We then got assigned to race on course Delta, the Yngling course as they had just one race today and were finished at 1400. Hannah Sweat, Melissa Purdy(Tiburon, CA), and Joan Touchette won the Yngling class for the USA. Congratulations to them for a great summer; Silver in Athens and Gold in Cadiz.
We got out to the course first and sailed quite a bit, got the rig readjusted for light air and at 1630 we had a start in 7 knots of wind from 215. We had a nice start and immediately started gaining on those around us. The boat was perfectly set up and in the grove. We wanted to go left as in the tune up, we had seen more pressure on the left, but so had everyone else. So it was a foot race to the left and we were going fast.
Sure enough the left was good and we rounded the top mark 6th. From there we battled the whole day with a Peter Bromby from Bermuda. He was ahead of us and kept tacking on us trying to push us back. The wind did not change much and it was a bit of a one-way track with the left side being favored up and down wind.
The wind remained light, 7-8 knots the whole race and on the third beat, Bromby and us both passed the Spanish. Across the line, Bromby was 3rd but we later found out he was OCS (over early at the start) so we finished third which moves us into 8th place overall. While 8th isn’t setting the world on fire, it is a move up and if we are in the top 8 at the World Championship we qualify for Operation Gold money from the USOC. This can be a big boost to our budget and my sponsor (my wife) would be happy.
In the rest of the fleet, Percy had a bad race finishing 19th, which put him in 3rd over all. Xavier Rohart, the French sailor, finished second and locked up the series as there can only be one race tomorrow. Loof (SWE) won the race and moved into second.
Tomorrow there can only be one race per the sailing instructions and it must start before 16:00. The forecast is very light wind in the early and middle of the day with a sea breeze filling in around 1600. We will see.
All in all, we have been sailing at the top of the fleet the last two days, which is good in the big picture. Our speed has been good in the variety of conditions and I am very pleased with our new boat.
I may not have time to write the report tomorrow as I am on a 20:30 flight out of here Sunday night. Keep your figures crossed for tomorrow.
We had a terrible day. But somehow, we are still in fourth place,,, 9 points out of first.
It started by me having the stomach flew. We all know what that entails so I wont go into the gory details. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling my best. Next, we realize that the mainsail is torn, at the spreader, on the way out to the starting line. The coaches, Luther and Chris Bedford (Meteorologist), had to run back to the harbor, in our tender, and get some “stick back” to repair the sail. Got that done. Then we had a horrible start to race one and we are 15 th to the 1 st mark. There are only 18 boats so that was ugly. On the run, Phil slides off the bow and into the water. I did not have to go back to get him, but dragging him along for a few seconds was slow.
As the race progresses, we are not making much headway on improving our lie. But the wind died on the last lap and there was a chance we could have been saved by the time limit and the race having to be re-sailed. But nope, the first boat drifted across the line, 2 minutes inside the time limit.
OK Race 1 is over. Now, Race 2. IT is blowing 6 knots, max. We are over early at the start of race 2. This means we jumped the gun and crossed the line too soon. Phil is sure of it so we go back. So we are last off the line. But we go left, again Phil’s suggestion and we round mark 1 in 7 th place. Nice comeback! The wind is dying so the committee keeps shortening the length of the legs at every mark. We fight the whole race with Percy (GBR) and the Danish team for 7 th only to fall into a hole on the last leg and have Beshal (AUS) and Pickle (GER) pass us. At one point I thought the whole fleet might pass us as we were truly “parked”. A few boats in front of us were disqualified for also being over the starting line early and not going back to we got a few points back there.
We managed to get back to the harbor, put the boat on the trailer and get back to the “Palace” without any further damage.
Tomorrow, they have scheduled us for one race only. We now have a new element to the racing here which has been shifty and tricky to this point. Today we added “no wind” as a new factor and we had this element at some point during each race. This is another level of “tricky and shifty” as “no wind” is usually followed by “some wind” from “somewhere”. That is the tricky part. Hopefully we will figure it out better tomorrow. There is a lot of potential for movement up and down in the standings. We are 9 points out of first and 13 points ahead of 6 th . With the winds as fickle as they are here, anything is possible.
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
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
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.
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.
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