We are having a blast in Athens, the venue for the 2014 470 Europeans. It is quite hot here, but the nice thing is that we will come home with a tan! There is this amazing iced coffee drink they have at the restaurant at the yacht club here called a freddo cappuccino or freddo espresso which has totally been our guilty pleasure this trip! You probably saw the picture on our Facebook page with our car in between cantaloupe and tomato stands. Well, we woke up at 730am to just mayhem outside our window and as we moved the curtain to see what was going on, we just looked at each other and knew it was bad. Or by bad, we mean safe to assume our car had been towed. There was a full on market on the street. Not really sure what to do, we both kind of sat in silence for a couple minutes until one of us had a decent plan. We figured that someone at the market would know where our car is, so we decided it was best to just wander downstairs and start talking to people. As we walked onto the street, we looked and there was our beautiful car. We were so surprised and shocked all at the same time, and of course we were those people haha. We had no idea how to get it out of there, but long story short the guy with the cucumbers was a very nice man!
As for the racing, we arrived at the venue for a noon start time. The race course is very close to the harbor entrance and it is always nice when the sail out isn’t too long or doesn’t require a tow. We sailed upwind in a 16 knot Westerly that was starting to become fairly unstable. The race committee attempted a couple starts for the mens fleets, but those were generals. The breeze shifted way left and kept dying. The race committee then postponed us ashore. We sat for about an hour in air conditioning which felt very good! We sailed out again around 2pm and had two successful races in light air and chop. For the first race today, great upwind boatspeed helped us to get in the lead early. The downwinds are hard here as you really had to pick and choose your modes based on the wave angle and pressure. The second race we fouled an Australian team at the start and had to do penalty turns. We were pretty much in last and actually sailed a great race, coming back to 14th. We had one tactical hiccup on first upwind beat, as we got a little greedy on our side. Overall a great lesson moving forward – when you pass a ton of boats, put them in the bank! Our start time is pushed back two hours for a 2pm start 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.