Hyeres Day 4

The forecast was super strong for today at 15-25 knots from the east and at dinner last night, we were talking about how this direction can sometimes not come through.  Well, we had absolutely no breeze this morning and had a short postponement while the breeze filled in.  The forecast did come through as promised though for the second race today and it was just beautiful sailing conditions.  We sailed with the blue bibs today since we were in second and we were ready to sail strong.  The first race, it was lightish air with pressure lines coming down and we could tell the breeze was trying to get stronger. We had a good start middle pin and led toward the left side. We looked awesome until we missed a pressure line right and for the rest of the beat, it just kept winding and we had to fight to get back from our side. We came back to finish 9th which was in a large part due to our downwind speed.  The second race, the big picture conditions had changed and it was much windier and the breeze had become more consistent since it had filled in.  Again, we knew that we wouldn’t be tacking much, so we liked the left side but wanted the right pressure so we started middle boat and headed left. This time, we had awesome speed upwind and a small tactical error cost us a couple boats. We rounded the top mark 6th and we were hoping to use our downwind speed to make gains.  The reach was tight, so we didn’t end up going for the kite until we were fairly close to the mark and when we went for the set, the eye fitting on the pole just ripped off.  So we sailed two downwinds and a final reach with no topping lift.  We basically just pretended that everything was normal and kept trying to surf waves to try and hold our position.  Once we got to the final reach, we thought it would have been a really bad idea to keep the spinnaker up.  We weren’t sure what would happen and whether the pole would sky.  We had a large gap behind us with one boat only able to pass us, so we decided to do the safe thing and drop the kite, figuring we could just keep the boat planing with two sails. We ended up losing that boat, but we’re happy with our decision.  A big goal for us for this regatta was starting and today we definitely made serious progress with that goal.  Even though our races didn’t end up how we would have liked, we hit the dock feeling like we accomplished something and improved as a team.  Again, the forecast looks strong for tomorrow and we are looking forward to finishing off the final series with two races scheduled.

We are off to dinner for Briana’s birthday with a few members of the US team at a local favorite restaurant, Le Tocco!

We would like to thank the sponsors and supporters of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider especially our title sponsor Sperry Top-Sider.