Monday, February 16, 2009

Laser Midwinter's East

I am in Clearwater for the ISAF Grade 1 Laser Midwinter's East Regatta. The regatta doesn't start until Thursday so I am training with other Canadian sailors for the first part of the week. Results can be found here.

February 19, 2009
Today we had strong wind from the north, and big waves combining with yesterday's swell. In the first race I had a good start about 2/3 down the line on a pin favoured start, and had a clear lane on port on the first shift. I missed out on a shift to hitch back to the left and was back from the leading group. I brushed the windward mark as well and had to do a 360. I sailed a good second beat and passed another boat on the final beat to finish 13. In the second race I had a great start in the middle of the line and held my lane nicely out to the left side and played the shifts well to round the windward in 3rd. I lost one boat and distance on the first run, but sailed quickly again on the second beat and rounded 3rd. I extended on the last run and stayed ahead on the final beat to finish 3rd. In the last race I was a bit late on the trigger at the start, but was still able to get a good lane. I tacked out on the first shift, but came back a bit early and the boats I was with on the right came back ahead of me. I sailed quickly again on the second beat and moved up to 6th. I passed one boat on the final reach and finished 5th. I am now in 8th overall.
Weather: Sunny, 16 degrees, 15-20 knots, N

February 19, 2009
Today was the first day of racing. When I first got out the wind was south-south west at about 15 knots. We raced the first race in this wind, but it came down slightly throughout the race. I had a good clear start and held my lane well out to the left side. I missed out on a couple of shifts and rounded the first windward in 10th. I went to the wrong gate mark and my vang key popped out at the bottom so I lost a chunk of distance, but was able to make it back on the second half of the beat. I lost one boat on the final run, but passed it back on the reach and got another on the final beat to finish 10. For the second race the wind had come down to about 8-10 knots and gone to around 300*. When we finally got going after several generals I had a poor start, but found a lane out to the left and sailed quickly. I made a good move at the top undertacking a group of boats that had overstood. I had a tough time getting going downwind and lost 4 boats. I sailed quickly on the second beat, passing 6 boats, but lost 3 again on the run. I almost passed a boat on the final beat but I needed a bit more and finished 12. After two races I am in 10th overall.
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 18 degrees, 8-15 knots, SW-NW

February 18, 2009
Today I went out for a shorter session, with about an hour of sailing out on the gulf. Only Evan Lewis, Lee Parkhill and I decided to go out. We did a short upwind followed by some boat handling work. The regatta starts tomorrow with the first race at 11.
Weather: Sunny, 24 degrees, 16-20 knots, S

February 17, 2009
Today we had wind from further east, starting around 14 knots, and decreasing slightly throughout the day. We had a good group, joining up with some international sailors as well as CST. We ran a couple of drills focusing on the top of the beat, some starting practice, and finished the day off with some racing. I'll have a shorter session tomorrow before the regatta starts Thursday.
Weather: Sunny, 20 degrees, 8-14 knots, E

February 16, 2009
Today was the first day out on the water after the Miami OCR. We had good wind from the north with big waves today. We ran some boat handling drills and did some open speed work. I had good pace both upwind and downwind. The forecast for tomorrow is for less wind so I should be able to work on my starting which I saw was a big weakness in Miami.
Weather: Sunny, 22 degrees, 15 knots, N