Happy Australia Day everyone! Hope you had a great day with your family and friends and to all who are racing, hope it is going well!
The Spiral Nationals commenced yesterday for me from Teralba at the North-western end of Lake Macquarie in a very shifty and variable E-NE breeze, with cloud interference at times.
A very mixed bag of results in the two races that were sailed, showing my potential in race one, and then my determination in race two!
Race one, the pin was exceptionally favoured. I started exactly where I wanted to; accelerating with about ten seconds to go and a nice hole on my right hip. I managed to be the second boat onto port, and was able to take the best advantage of each shift from there, leading around the top mark from Chris Loring, and Chris Eddes. Chris Eddes and I had a bit of a luffing duel down the second reach; and I narrowly held the lead onto work two. I was in a good position going up this work, but didn’t go quite far enough right and round the top for the second time I was right on Chris’s tail. We opened up a good gap on the rest of the fleet. It was just like a training session really! I had him under pressure all the way into the bottom mark. Chris got away from me on work three when the breeze dropped substantially. I held onto second until the finish, with Chris Loring in third and Glen Hammond in fourth.
Race two was a completely different story. With two minutes to go, a large right-hand shift, with pressure, came into play. I was able to set myself up at the boat end and had a good hole to start. Unfortunately, two boats that were above me did not keep clear, and I ended up in a tangle. I managed to get myself out, but with the large right-hand shift, the first work was exceptionally hard going. Rounding the top mark in the opposite end of the fleet to the first race, I was set on catching as many boats as possible. With only one drop in a series of nine, I knew I just had to do what I could! Unfortunately, being closer to the back I encountered another incident at the first gybe mark where a boat without room almost tea boned me as she came down in the gust of the day. I rounded the mark leaving just enough room for her to gybe and save the boats, but her boom got me and her mainsheet managed to wrap itself around my hair. What is now a laughable situation was not entertaining at the time! I continued to sail fast and smart to finish in the teens. Disappointing considering my goal of top five, but an example of my focus and also of how fast and smart I am sailing, to come through the fleet in conditions where the boats were on the whole, similar speeds. Chris also had a different race in the second, rounding in third, which he held for most of the race before having to do a double-loop for a love tap at the bottom mark.
Chris Loring leads after day one, with Chris Eddes and Glen Hammond on equal points. Tom Spithill would probably be the next best, after a good day yesterday, without his token day one capsize and even speed on the reaches! I am not sure where I will be, I just want to focus on getting cleanly around the track today! My results are on the upward spiral, and hopefully Chris (Eddes) continues to chip away as well!
The results are not online as yet, I will post a link as soon as they are available.
Day two looks like it will be even tougher, with showers already happening, and not quite as much breeze. I will try to keep you posted!
If you haven’t seen my spiral video yet, you should check it out!