Monday, March 24, 2008

My Dreams Are A-Dying

Thurs Feb 21

So, after three days of the Laser Masters Worlds we have only completed three races out of a scheduled six. And I have two results in the low 30's, and one in the 40's (in a 54 boat fleet). Can I do as well as I did in Spain and finish in the top half of the fleet? Well, yes, if I can run off a series of races in the low 20's (or better) and throw out my one race in the 40's there is still a chance.

Day 4 brings 10-15 knots of breeze on bigger ocean swells than we have seen all week. I really struggle finding the groove upwind in the swells. I know the theory of what I should be doing from my lessons with Rulo in Cabarete, but somehow I can't seem to make it happen. Every time I approach the crest of the wave I find myself overpowered, the boat heels to leeward and then heads up. Exactly the opposite of what I know I should be doing: hiking harder and torquing to make the boat bear away down the next wave.

In the first race I am low in the fleet at the first mark but then I am able to gain places all the way around the track. I feel particularly good about my choice to go low on the second reach, ride the waves down below the rhumb line, and then slot back into the procession of boats approaching the final leeward mark several places ahead of where I started the leg.

In the second race, I tack immediately to the right from the boat end of the start line and then left on a nice header. I'm in the top twenty at the top mark but then, in contrast to the first race, I'm losing places all the rest of the way around the course. Oh well.

Two more results in the 30's so my dream of making the top half of the fleet overall is dying fast. But I did beat That Guy again in both races, so it's not all bad. (OK, he did capsize in front of me on the final reach in one race but it still counts.)

Then off to a pre-dinner cocktail party at the apartment of one of the other USA sailors, followed by dinner of pizza and sticky date pudding with the beautiful Tillerwoman. Life is good.

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