Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Delta Lloyd Regatta

I am in Medemblik, Netherlands for the Delta Lloyd Regatta.
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Tuesday, May 24
Today was the first day of racing. We sailed in an offshore wind of 17-22 with short chop which was a bit difficult to handle. In the first race I did not have a good enough start, but was able to get some shifts up the first beat to round in the top half. I spun out a few times on both runs and missed a big shift on the second beat and finished near the back. In the second race my start was not better, but I was able to hitch out and quickly get in phase and I was near the front up the beat. I rounded the first mark in the top 20 and lost a few throughout to finish 24. Racing continues tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25
After a delay on the water for wind, racing got underway in an unstable easterly. The first attempt at a race was abandoned when the wind went 45 degrees right. With the course reset racing got underway. I had a good start, but mistimed my first tack and was forced to tack back and I lost the advantage I had on the boats above me. I played up close to the front on the left side, but the right was heavily favoured, and I rounded the weather mark around 30. I had a good first run and stayed relatively even to finish 28. In the second race I found a late gap at the boat end, and had a jump on the boats on the right side of the course. I led the right side, but the first 12 boats came from the left side of the course. I lost a couple of boats on the first run, a couple more on the next beat, but had a good last run to get back to 13. The qualifying series concludes tomorrow with strong winds forecast.

Thursday, May 26
When we first hit the water there was 15 knots, and by the time the first race started it had built to 20. I fell back after the start but was able to hook into the first shift and played the rest of the beat well to round the first weather mark around 15. I lost a couple of boats on the first run, but gave up a lot of distance to the boats ahead. By the time we got to the second weather mark the wind was up to 28. I swam 3 times on the last run and fell back to 35. We were sent ashore after we finished - an hour upwind in 30 knots. After 5 races I am in 51st, good enough to qualify for the gold fleet final series, which begins tomorrow.

Friday, May 27
Today was the first day of finals racing. The forecast was for 17-22 knots at the start of the day with gusts in the high 20s, and for the wind to decrease to 16-18 in the afternoon with gusts in the low 20s. In the first race I did not have a good start, and bailed out to the right side. The left side came in and I rounded the first weather mark with 5 boats behind me. I was not able to make any gains, and finished 57. In the second race I headed right to a big cloud, and hit pressure, and rounded the weather mark around 8. I dropped a couple of boats on each run, and gained a couple on the second beat to finish 11. I am in 47th overall. Racing continues tomorrow with strong winds forecast again.

Saturday, May 28
Today again saw a strong forecast, but it was not quite as windy when we first got out. In the first race I sailed a nice first beat and rounded 10, dropped a few on the first run and passed one back on the second beat to round around 12. By this point the wind had picked up considerably. Again I lacked the control downwind and swam several times, and finished 49. By the start of the second race it was blowing 30. I had a solid start but rounded the weather mark in the deep 20s. I swam 4 times on the first run and was almost last around the leeward mark. I completed the race in 53, with several boats retiring due to breakages. There is one final race scheduled for tomorrow and again strong winds are forecast.

Sunday, May 29
Today was the last day of racing, with one race scheduled. It was again quite windy. I had a good start, and was up near the front halfway up the first beat, but made some poor moves near the weather mark and rounded around 20. My boathandling issues downwind in the big breeze continued and after a couple of swims I was near the back. I finished the race in 39th, putting me in 55th overall. Next stop is Weymouth for the Sail for Gold regatta.