Santander Test Event Day 3

Long day today with a lot of waiting on the water, but the good news is that we had sun for the majority of the day.  We had three races scheduled, but with the dying breeze the race committee called off our last race around 18:45.  The conditions today were really fun, but extremely challenging at the same time; lots of swell and chop, literally from every direction!  There was swell coming from behind on port tack and we were able to really get the boat planing.  The first race, we started at the pin and had great speed off the line. We tacked on top of the fleet with a great lane in order to hook into the low mode on port to get the acceleration from the waves.  A little over half way up the first windward beat, we pretty much got auto-tacked and took a hitch away from the fleet and ended up pretty far in first.  Due to the left shift, the downwind was pretty skewed. We ended up reaching to the gate marks. It took us a while to locate the marks with the swell, so that shortened our lead a little bit.  We were looking great on the second upwind, maintaining our lead close to the windward mark. We then looked over our shoulder and saw that the entire fleet was heading to a new mark. We tacked and sailed a massive foot mode in hopes of not loosing too many boats as we were clearly way over stood on the layline. We were very confused because the old windward mark was still in the water and there was no charlie flag, change of mark flag, or sound signals at our leeward mark .  We were lucky and ended up in fourth. When we finished, our coach told us that the race committee simply was not prepared with the charlie flag when we rounded the gate and ended up posting the board once the third boat was rounding.  Apparently, the jury was shaking their heads and many coaches expressed their concerns for this poor race committee management. We decided not to file for redress because this is a practice regatta and we know that they won’t screw this up next september during the worlds!  The second race, the conditions were a little bit lighter.  We rounded the top mark in 6th, but got ping-ponged on the downwind leg as the fleet was super condensed.  We had some issues tactically up the final windward beat and ended up 11th.  We have made huge technique gains this week with the swell and that is a big takeaway so far from this event.  Lots of racing left and we are looking forward to tackling the swell again tomorrow!

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