Today we had three more races in a much lighter breeze, definitely lighter than what was forecast to be similar to yesterday. For the North American Champs more than a week ago, and so far this regatta the way to go has been left of centre. It was very much reversed today, with the right hand side providing the goods.
In race one, after multiple black flag generals, over 15 boats went home early. It was interesting to note that the pin boat didn’t seem to know they needed to record numbers on a general recall black flag start, and was also concerning that they weren’t anchored in 3 knots of current to call who was over. We used the head of the guy on the pin boat as our moving transit to make sure we weren’t over. When the race finally got away, we worked the left on the first beat. We did come out ok after a great start, but the right had paid. We managed to get ourselves into third position by the gate marks. Unfortunately we were pushed left early in the beat, and did not find a window to get back to the current on the right hand side (as much as we were saying we wanted to be there). We lost a number of boats up the work, and picked them off down the run to salvage an eleventh place. This heat was won by a South Australian, who hit the right hand corner on both works.
In race two, after more generals, we managed to get to the right hand side after bailing from the start early and taking sterns. We hit the corner, hard (seemed to be the thing to do), and rounded the top mark in second. We played the runs as well as we could in the shifty conditions, with the constant question of current versus breeze. We lost a few down the run, but made them back up the work to eventually finish in third position. A much happier spot.
Speaking of happy spots… I am loving my recliner camping chair right at our boat… is THE best… thinking of sending one back to Aussie-land! Best place to chill after a post race session swim also.
Now back to the racing… in race three, yes more generals, we found it a bit more difficult to get back to the right when the start line was so biased to the pin it was not funny… we dug out way out anyway, and rounded the top mark in the mid teens to twenties. We sailed the run well to be in reach of the top ten. We stayed in touch for the rest of the race, but in constant fear downwind wondering which side would pay. We managed to hold our spot and pick off a few more to finish again in eleventh spot.
Australians took the heat wins in all three races which was awesome to see… hopefully we will be able to claim one for the series.
So many had up and down days we managed to move up a spot to seventh overall, and we are now the second rather than the third Australian. We can still make the top five, and maybe even the top three depending on how things go. Who knows! Just have to get out there and sail smart!
On looking smart, this is my favourite moment of the day… Scouty fitted in his own life jacket. He unfortunately didn’t want to go swimming, but we may see more of this tomorrow!We should also be seeing more wind tomorrow… well there are mixed reports… some say more, but they also said more for today… it could well be lighter. I think we will go out rigged for a light day, and see how we go! Better to be rigged for the lighter conditions!
We are also readjusting our goals a little from the win to top three as a stretch, and top five as a realistic goal… You never really do know, but better to get out there and race without thinking about where we are going to end up! As those who sail or do any sport at a high level, it really is such a mind game – with yourself!
A big well done to those in the top five. It has been really hard going, and the consistency at such a tricky venue is just an indication of fantastic breeze spotting, combined with risk management and speed. Great sailing!
Tomorrow we have three more races, and then lay day eve celebrations on a paddle wheeler cruise up the river – so I will post more on Thursday morning (Friday night Australian time)!
Thanks again for all the words of encouragement from those who are visiting, there in the boat park, emailing, texting, or Facebooking… you know who you are! It has been tough, but of course, I am still loving my sailing! Much love!