Things got off to a slow start at the first day of the 2007 Formula World Championships.
With 3 finishes in the mid 40's and equipment failure that forced me out of race 2, I'm sitting 18 places from my goal of the top 30. Nothing like a good challenge to keep you going for the rest of the event!
photo credit: BOGO
By 1pm the breeze was up to 13-15 knots. I choose my light wind set up of 11.9 and 73-3 cm kashy fin. The right side of the course looked favored as well as starting on port. I lined up with the fleet split around 50-50 on port and starboard. I wanted a lane so I started a bit early down the line and ducked 1/2 the fleet getting over to the right early to the first shift. Near shore, the breeze was lighter and my angle really suffered compared to the F2 and *boards. I got around the top mark just behind the pack and had some tough battles back and forth in the middle of the pack. In this fleet, a mistake will cost you 15-20 boards minimum...but then again you can pick up just as many if you come by a lucky shift or place yourself well at a mark rounding. On the last leg to the finish- a broad reach- I found myself pumping hard with BRA 5 and DEN 112 with 100m to the finish. We are running out of wind and really putting on the pressure when BAM the guy next to me breaks his mast. One less person to worry about! There was a few other breakdowns as well with Sherman breaking a mast on the starting line just before the start. I looked down and saw my number 2 batten was broken- which really did a number on my angle but you have to deal with the cards you have and make the bet out of them!
Next race things start off well, starting on port tack again getting to the right early working my way through the mid pack for the next lap when on the 2nd upwind my harness line blows out.
This was one of those things that you always say in the back of your mind- You can never be too prepared! The good thing was I only had to miss one race and yelled and cursed at myself on the sail in and then forgot about it- moving onto the next task at hand.
After a 45min lunch break we were back out on the water again- this time I switched down to my 11.0 and 70 cm kashy fin. I found better angle and speed but still didnt feel great as I got woked around the course by several other faster sailors. For the next 2 races I had a clean start on starboard getting off the line well but again not great as a few other guys popped out in front of me forcing me to tack over for clear air. I got stuck double tacking the top mark once and that immediately shot me back 15 positions- putting me in a worse position having now to deal with their dirty air at the next mark rounding.
With 3 upwind legs , there's plenty of opportunity to gain or lose but in the light stuff you really cant hide from your weakness. Again I just couldn't find the angle or speed which was killing me. I had to give up several small battles on the course forcing me back in the fleet.
Things could be worse though as I looked around at the end of the day with several guys with broken boards and in the protest room. Seth had an unfortunate incident with BRA 5 in race 3 at the leeward mark where he ended with a good 6" gash from his board. Fortunately- hes found another board and got redress for the 2 races he missed.
Results after 4 races
Up in the front of the pack it was Antoine and Gonzolo battling it out for the top sports. Lucas- BRA 25- also showed some great form getting into the top 5 in to races for the top Brazilian spot so far!
Consistency is going to be the key to this regatta!
Special thanks to the following organizations for the funding at this event:
The St. Francis Foundation, The Richmond Yacht Club Foundation and The Belvedere Cove Foundation. In addition- Eduardo Owen of NEXT SPORTS for his generous equipment sponsorship!