|District 20 Regatta Report|| |
Sun Jan 21st, 2007 through Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Leaders Loof/Ekstrom, photo by Dan Nerney. Rolex MOCR
| Event website|
Final results. Gold fleet is from 1 - 34, Silver fleet is 35 - 67.
Racing reports by Brad Nichol:
The 2007 edition of the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta brings interesting changes for the Star Class. This year the class is racing split fleets, meaning that only half the boats race at one time rather then having all 70 boats on the same race course. With only 34 boats on the line the courses can be shorter demanding more physical racing and putting a premium on top three finishes.
Day 1: Today was another perfect day for sailing on Biscayne Bay with sun and 15 knots of breeze out of the south. We were in the Blue Fleet today, which started at 11am, the yellow fleet started at 1pm and each day they will reconfigure the fleets. Vince Brun and I sailed a good first race solidly in the top 10 but were disqualified for a false start along with 25% of the fleet. In the second race we had a tough start at the boat end of the line but were able to sail a good first beat getting to the top of the course in the top five but as we approached the mark we fouled another boat. After we completed our penalty we were third from last. We continued to work hard and passed boats each of the next three legs to finish 10th.
Day 2: The day started out looking like a good day for golf. The two forecasts that we received included terms like "light and variable" and "the bay will glass over." The race committee postponed on shore and we were left to sit in the hot humid parking lot waiting for wind. Against all odds, a sea breeze began to fill and the race committee sent us out to try for a race. After a few hours of bobbing around in light air, the wind filled in enough for a race around 2pm.
Vince and I were in the blue fleet again and were the first to start. The pin was favored and the sky was clear on the left side so we decided to work the left. Things happen in slow motion in light wind and the calamity at the pin was a long way coming and we could not avoid it. Three boats in front of us were over the line taking our air and one boat next to us was trying to go back to restart. By the time we cleared ourselves from the traffic jam things looked bleak. We stayed focused and were able to find some clear air up the first leg and made it to the top of the course in the middle of the fleet.
Downwind the fleet kept sailing high of the course to the leeward mark fighting for every bit of wind. We were able to keep clear and pick up a few boats. At the leeward mark we were working hard to stay ahead of a boat that was close behind and were late getting the boat ready to go upwind. I was very close to turning our brand new jib into a handbag but was able to correct the situation with a quick jog to the bow to clear the tangled sail. The botched rounding forced us to sail to the right side of the course and half way up the leg there were two miles of separation between the right and left side. At this point a large shift could have shifted the standings significantly but in the end, we all came to the weather mark about even.
The final leg was more of the same battle for clear air and we held our position to finish 7th, a great come back after a difficult start. Tomorrow looks to be similar to what we ended up racing in today with a light to medium sea breeze. Tomorrow is the final day of the "qualifying series" and after tomorrow's races the fleet will be split into gold and silver for two days of racing before the final medal race on Saturday.
Day 3: Well, I am having trouble recalling the day because my head is spinning from all the penalty turns we completed in the second race, but I do know that we are going fast. The end result of the day was a 17, OCS in the two races putting us in 38th place. Tomorrow the fleet gets shuffled into Gold and Silver with the top 34 boats (1/2) in the Gold Fleet. Each fleet will sail four more races over the next two days and then the top 10 boats from the Gold fleet will race the medal race on Saturday. Essentially our regatta is over but we will continue to race and learn as much as we can because each day of racing is a day of training for the Olympics in August 2008 in Beijing!
Day 4: The weather turned upside down today. In addition to the usual need for tactics and boat speed, a certain level of toughness was required, as sailors battled a wide range of elements on Biscayne Bay, testing their survival skills. Racers left the dock in a warm, light southwesterly breeze under five knots and returned several hours later in a cold, rainy northwesterly wind. A front that passed through the course during midday caused the drastic change in conditions, whipping up strong winds that filled from the southwest. The remainder of the day exhibited gusts up to 25 knots out of the north and intermittent rain.
Day 3 & 4 by Brad Nichol: Thursday brought uncertain weather with a cold front forecasted to bring high winds, thunderstorms and cold weather. The race committee decided to hold the sailors on shore until the front passed but after a quick look at the radar, Vince and I decided we had time to take some pictures of a test sail. We snuck the quick sail in and made it back onto the trailer before the storm hit, and after it passed we were back out to race.
It was cold with gusty winds out of the WNW at 22-27 knots. We had good speed but kept getting caught in traffic and posted a 7th place. After the first race the race committee had trouble getting the line set in the strong winds and sent us in after 30 minutes of attempts to anchor. We slogged home in 25 knots of breeze, upwind, with temperatures in the low 50s. It took almost two hours to get in and we were all spent.
Today brought sun and cool temps with nice wind out of the north. Conditions were very puffy and shift with the offshore breeze and we saw 40-degree shifts with large changes in velocity. Vince and I worked on putting ourselves in tough positions on the racecourse and digging ourselves out to continue to get better. We posted a 4th and a second and finished second to Colin Beashel in the silver fleet.
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