Saturday, August 1, 2009

Laser Youth Europeans

I am competing in the Laser Youth European Championships in Landskrona, Sweden. Racing runs August 3-8. Check out results at the regatta website here. Click read more for daily reports.

Saturday, August 1
Today was my first day of training in Landskrona, after driving down from Norway yesterday. I did a 2.5 hour session with some Norwegian, Swedish and Turkish sailors. Tomorrow there is a practice race and opening ceremonies. Racing starts Monday.
Weather: 22 degrees, partly cloudy, 5-10 knots, S

Sunday, August 2
Today the practice race was held. After a 25 minute delay the start got underway in a light southerly wind. The start was a bit of chaos as everyone started at around 20 seconds, and kept sailing when the general flag was put up. It was tough to guage how my start was, but I made distance the whole way up the first beat, and rounded in the top 15. I sailed a quick run, but most of the boats behind had started to head for the harbour. I rounded the first leeward mark on the outer loop and then sailed in. Racing starts tomorrow, with 2 races scheduled, starting at 11:00.
Weather: 25 degrees, sunny, S-SSE, 4-8 kts

Monday, August 3
Today was the first day of racing. There was no wind when we first arrived at the club today, but the race committee sent us out right away. After an hour delay on water the first race got underway in a light wind. I did not have a great start and when the fleet flopped to port I was forced to take many transoms. I rounded the first weather mark towards the back of the fleet, but was able to make big gains around the course to finish 21st. For the second race the wind and waves were up a bit. I had a good start, and was looking to be in the top 5 on the left side. I fell into a lull and the boats behind on the right passed me with the new pressure and I rounded somewhere in the 20s. I had a poor first run, and then made a few gains back again but lost a bit when the two fleets collided and finished 39.
Weather: 18 degrees, cloudy, N-NNW, 5-10 kts

Tuesday, August 4
Today was the second day of racing. Again it was quite light in the morning, but we were sent out right away. In the first race I started at the boat and tacked out to the right and held out to the right hand side. I should have taken a few steps up earlier, but gained when pressure came in from the right. I rounded in the top 15, lost a bit on the first run, and gained a bit on the next beat to finish 12. After several generals with blackflags the second race got underway in a bit more wind. I started at the boat again. I was fouled shortly after the start, and lost a bit, but was able to tack out and get clear. I gambled a bit on the right side of the course at the top, and lost a bit but rounded the weather mark in the top 15. Again I lost a little downwind when I didn't realize the course was skewed, but made some gains on the next beat and finished in the top 20.
Weather: 20 degrees, cloudy. NNW-NNE, 5-10 kts

Wednesday, August 5
This morning we sat on shore for 45 minutes waiting for wind. The first race started out in a light NW wind, much like the last couple of days. I had a bad start, but did a very good job of tacking out and finding a clear lane. I held out to the left side of the course, but kept hitching back to the right. I made gains the whole way up the first beat and rounded around 12. I sailed a very quick first run, passing 7 boats. I gambled a bit on the next beat and lost a couple of boats, and lost two more on the run and one on the final beat to finish 10. In the next race I again had a tough start, but was able to get clear and find a good lane. I made gains again the whole way up the beat and rounded in 8th. I sailed a very quick first run again and passed 6 boats, and held 2nd around the next weather mark. I went outside a bit on the run, the way I had gone when I had made gains earlier, and missed a puff and lost 3 boats. I lost another boat on the final beat and finished 6th. By the end of the second race the sea breeze had finally started to kick in and we sailed in to the harbour in 12-15 knots and nice waves...
Weather: Sunny, 25 degrees, 5-12 kts, NW

Thursday, August 6
We had light air again today, but from the southwest instead. In the first race I had a very good start in the middle of the line. I was slow on the bottom half of the fleet, and found myself in a tough spot, but was able to sail a very good second half of the beat and get up in the top 10ish. I misjudged my speed coming into the mark in the current and got hung up on the mark, and was forced to backwind my sail to get off it. This mistake cost me 20 boats. I lost a bit on the first run, but was quick on the second beat and was able to gain some boats back and finished around 30. In the second race I had a poor start, but was able to get clear, and had good air for most of the beat, and rounded the weather mark around 14. I was even on the first run, lost a couple of boats on the next beat, and then passed 3 boats on the final run. On the last beat I got stuck in a hole when the wind started to die, and lost those 3 boats again to finish 16. Finals series racing begins tomorrow.
Weather: 25 degrees, sunny, 4-6 kts, SW-W

Friday, August 7
Today was the first day of finals racing. The wind was from the SSW - offshore, puffy and shifty. This made for tricky racing and a lot of big scores. In the first race I had an okay start in the middle of the line, but the sides quickly got ahead as they were able to hit the shifts earlier. I sailed a very quick first run, but just got stuck in a big pack of boats at the bottom. I chose the wrong side on the next beat, but was able to pass some boats downhill and on the last beat to finish 29. In the second race I had a poor start in the middle, starting above a boat that was BFD, and was forced to fight back. I was very quick on the first run again, making big gains by staying with the puff. I sailed a very good first 3/4 of the second beat, gaining on every shift, but lost big when the wind died on the right, and a 15kt gust with a 30 degree leftie came in on the left. I passed 4 boats pack on the final beat to finish 29.
Weather: Sunny, 25 degrees, 8-12 kts, SSW, shifty/puffy

Saturday, August 8
Today was the last day of racing, and it started out the exact same as yesterday. I had a very good start in the middle of the line, but got a little unlucky and got tacked on a couple of times. Once I got clear I was able to sail very fast, and made a good move at the weather mark to round in the top 10. I was quick on the first run again and rounded the bottom in 4. I took a bit of a chance staying on the right hand side of the leaders on the second beat, but again the leftie was there at the top, and I rounded 6. I lost one boat and passed another on the run, and then passed two boats and lost two on the final beat when the wind went light and fluky to stay 6 in the race. The wind died completely after we finished the race, and after a couple of hours of waiting the rest of the day was called off. I finished 26 in the regatta. I was a little disappointed with this overall result, but happy about my speed and decision making and the improvement I made in my starts.
Weather: Sunny, 25 degrees, 8-12 kts, SSW, shifty/puffy