We have just completed the French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyeres, a venue known for it’s powerful northwest “mistral” breeze. However we saw none of that, in fact there was no race sailed in over 8 knots of wind. Luckily though, plenty of sunshine accompanied the pathetically weak wind which made all the time under postponement much more pleasant.
The lack of wind limited the qualifying series to only four races, which we narrowly squeezed in over the first four days of the event. Normally, we are able to get in six races for the qualifying over the first three days of the event.
With only four races for the qualifying series it is easy to get caught behind, and wind up in the silver fleet for the championship series. Our focus was to try not to do anything stupid which would knock us out of the gold fleet. Our first two races we scored a 24-27, so we started off in the hole by a few places for the gold fleet. The third race (which occurred in the late afternoon on the third day of the regatta) we had a killer start and lead the race for the first three marks, and were narrowly passed by the Swedish at the end to score a second in the race. No doubt, showing that we again have the speed and smarts to duke it out with the best in the world.
We even got a photo taken as we lead at the first weather mark. However, right when you would have thought our names would have appeared in the daily press release, it turned out we were black flagged at the start (over early). Thus we were scored a BFD, or 46 points. This was a real killer in our scoreline because we could not throw it out before the qualifying series was complete (you need five races for a toss, and our qualifying ended at four). Our fourth and final qualifying race happened in the morning of the fourth day of the event, we scored a disappointing 33rd and were officially in the silver division.
Being in the silver fleet eliminated our chances of achieving our position goal, as we would need to be in the gold fleet to do that. However not all was lost, we had a lot to work on, and being in the silver fleet would allow us to focus on our main weakness: starting. During the championship series of the event, we worked hard to improve our acceleration and boat positioning. It was great to see that even after just four races, we improved dramatically in both and had a few great starts.
Overall, we would have loved to get more races in, but you have to play with the cards dealt. We did get much more light air racing, which because the light wind is one of our weaker conditions, it was great to get more time in that condition. We were able to pick our way through the fleet, with good speed and climb back in the standings over 20 places after the fleet split, finishing 9th in silver fleet.
Our next event is the Delta Lloyd Regatta (World Cup event # 5) and begins on May 26th in Medemblik, Netherlands.
Thank you for all your support, we could never do this without you!
Adam and Nick
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