Friday, November 23, 2007

Waiting to come alive...

The breeze was slow to come up today for the first day of the Brazilian Grand Prix- a 3 series regatta for the Brazilian Formula nationals and a warm up for next weeks Worlds. Racing got pushed back to 1pm and even then most of the fleet was on 11.9's. We did 2 races back to back in a building breeze from 12-14k. A quick lunch break then back on the water for 2 more races in a shifty 12-14k. The triangle course was set parallel to the shore with a side shore oscillating breeze. The finish was just off rocks at the Marina Hotel.Despite the light to medium breeze the rolling swell and chop is present on most of the course- except near the shore where its flatter. I never got quite powered on the 11.9 and got stuck in the middle of the pack. The first 2 races I went to the left off the line carrying starboard tack all the way to the layline. Big mistake as there was a big lift off the land for everyone who went right.
In race 3 I hit a plastic bag with my fin with 10 seconds to go and was immediately out of the race but for good measure found another one later in the race and had to jump off again to clear my fin.
The next race I sailed smarter (going to the right shift), and won some small battles on the course but was stuck just behind the middle of the pack.
2 costly mistakes were having to double tack the top mark- that sent me deep!
Despite having a real powerful 73-3 kashy fin and an 11.9 I just couldnt get the Lab to work well in the light breeze. I was getting killed on angle and speed unless I could really feed the board power. My advantage will come when its windy and choppy- now the F2 and starboards really perform well. Up in front it was Steve Allen who won all 4 races with the usual suspects in the top 5- Arnon, Jesper, Sherman, Gonzo. Locals Fabio Melo and Lucas Fiuza put on the pressure finding the way through the fleet and ending up near the top.
The Launch was pretty sketch at the end of the day with 30-40 sailors trying to get out at once- half of them having their rig caddies take either their sail or their board- slowing up things even more. At lunch you could tie off to the rope and swim in...not the best way to run a world championship but hopefully it get better...

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