Monday, August 17, 2009

World Championships

I am in St.Margaret's bay, Nova Scotia for the Laser World Championships. Racing runs August 20-26. Follow results on the event website here.

Click on read more to read daily reports.

Monday, August 17
I went for a solid two hour sail today. The conditions were very similar to what I saw when I was out here training in the middle of July. When I first got out there was a large group doing rabbit starts and a windward-leeward course. It was good to get back in the boat after a bit of time off after the Europeans. Everything seems fine with the charter boat. I'll go for another solid sail tomorrow and then maybe take Wednesday off before racing starts Thursday.
Weather: Sunny, 28 degrees, S, 10-14 kts

Tuesday, August 18
After measuring in I went for a 2.5 hour sail today. It was again a "Bay Day" with 14-16 knots and nice waves. I did a big downwind down to where the main group was and joined in for rabbit starts. I will take tomorrow off to give the legs a rest so I'll be ready to go when racing starts Thursday.
Weather: Sunny, 26 degrees, S, 14-16 kts

Wednesday, August 19
Today was a rest day. Racing begins tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20
Today was the first day of racing. I was in the yellow fleet, and had the first start and the outer loop course. After 3 general, racing got underway in about 12 knots. I had a good first start, but when I went to tack onto port and cross the group behind I dropped my sheet and was forced to crash-tack back and lost a lot of distance. I was forced to fight back, and I was able to pass boats around the whole course to finish 28. In the second race I had another good start in the middle of the line and had a massive lane back on port. I had good pace but lost a bit to the guys on the left when the wind went 10 degrees left. I stayed relatively even after my first mark rounding and finished 24. The race committee had scheduled 3 races for tomorrow in fear of the hurricane hitting on Sunday.
Weather: Sunny, 24 degrees, S, 12-16 kts

Friday, August 21
Today the race course was plagued by fog. After a long delay waiting for an opening in the fog we finally got going. On our second start 18 boats were black flagged - I was one of them. I was on the water for 7 hours today and didn't race.
Weather: 20 degrees, fog, S, 12-16 kts

Saturday, August 22
We were postponed on shore this morning because Friday's blue fleet had to re-sail their race from yesterday that got chucked. After a long fog delay we were finally sent out and around 3 we got our first race off. I had an issue with my cunningham cleat before the start and in trying to fix it I lost track of the time and was late on the trigger. I had to tack out right away and after a couple of tacks I found a clear lane. I had very good pace upwind and hit a couple of shifts right and rounded the weather mark in 9th. I didn't quite have the pace downwind and rounded the leeward in 10th. I went up the wrong side on the second beat and lost 10 boats when the wind came down on the right side. I lost another couple of boats on the last run and passed one on the last beat to finish 21. In the second race I didn't have a great start again, but was able to get clear. I sailed the beat in clear air, but was back of the lead group and had a tough time. I lost a bit on the second run and passed 3 boats on the last beat to finish 28. After 5 races I am in 90th. After racing today all the boats were packed away in the club houses in preparation for the approaching hurricane. There will be no racing tomorrow. Championship racing begins Monday and I will be in the silver fleet.
Weather: 20 degrees, Sunny (fog), 10-14 kts, S

Sunday, August 23
Racing was cancelled today due to the hurricane

Monday, August 24
Today we sat on the water for 6 hours waiting for wind but it never came and racing was abandoned for the day.

Tuesday, August 25
After a short postponement on shore this morning the fleet was sent out. At first we had a light south gradient with long ocean swell. In the first race I had a good start about midway down the line but eventually got pinched off and found myself a bit lost in traffic. I lost more on the second beat and finished 47th. In the next race I had a poor start but was able to get clear. I was a bit back of the leaders but was able to sail fast throughout the race to finish 23rd. In the last race of the day I had a good start again, but eventually lost my lane. I was about middle of the pack, but lost out big when pressure came from the right side on the second beat. I was able to pass 5 boats on the final beat to finish 41. The schedule has been amended and another 3 races are now scheduled for tomorrow, the final day of racing.
Weather: Cloudy, 20 degrees, 4-14 kts, S

Wednesday, August 26
It was foggy again this morning, but the race committee was able to find a clear spot on the far side of the bay to race us. In the first race I had a good clear start to leeward, but a big patch of weeds shortly after the start forced me to stop and I was left battling back on the wrong side of the beat. I had about 5 boats behind me at the weather mark, but made big gains on the second beat and finished 32. In the second race I had a poor start at the boat end but was able to tack out and get clear quickly and sail fast up the left/middle side to round in the top 15. I was very quick on the first run and rounded the bottom in 6 and sailed well on the second beat to round the windward in 4th. I lost 3 boats on the last run but passed on back on the final reach to finish 6th. This race moved me up to 31st in the silver fleet and 87 overall.
Weather: 22 degrees, sunny, 10-14 kts, SSW