470 European’s Recap

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The points spread of the 2015 470 Europeans was massive due to off shore and unstable breeze for most of the regatta. The theme of this event was team work, throwing together some good races when it counted. The first day of racing, we unfortunately dug ourselves a bit of a hole. With too many tacks and a break down, we found ourselves behind the front group finishing. Thirty degree shifts and off shore breeze kept the scores close thankfully for us!

Similar to our last event in Weymouth, our second day was “moving day”. For the first time in our 470 career we managed to port tack the fleet the first race!! It was not a walk in the park to the finish though due to the crazy shifts, but we managed to hold onto the lead. The second race, we had a great comeback after an ok start and missing the first shift. A gybe set at the first top mark gained us 10 boats and we were able to grind back the last few from there to finish third.

With all the great luck we fell into the second day, the third snapped us back to reality. Both races had 30 degree shifts off the line, which we happened to be on the wrong side of. With the race committee not changing the marks, we tried to battle back where we could, but ended both races in the teens.It was a great lesson learning day that we will for sure take to the future!

Going into the next day, we knew the points in front and behind us were close and were ready to prove we belong in the front group. The breeze for the first time in the regatta was stable making the racing more boat speed focused. The first race, we had an ok start, but were forced out to the left hand side and were once again playing catch up. With a low set on the reach, we gained a handful of boats and fought back to third using our downwind speed. That same speed helped turn our second race from a six to a four around the last gate, where we “snaked” two boats on a last gybe.

With an earlier start time for the last day, we knew the race committee was skeptic about racing especially with the forecast! After sitting on the water for about an hour in the morning, we were sent into shore for what turned out to be our first onshore postponement. After sitting around for two hours, we were once again sent out. Much to the race committee’s dismay, the little breeze that there was died and we were called off for the day.

Points were close in the medal race behind us, but we were always looking forward. Second and third were tied, 8 points ahead of us making it a due or die for us to be in the top three. Points in tow, we began the medal race with a great start at the pin third of the line. After the breeze shifting slightly to the left, we were able to tack and step up on most of the fleet. We led towards the left hand side, and after a tight cross with the Brits, we rounded the top mark in first with four boats directly behind us. We took a little bit of a risk, extending from the rest of the fleet when most boats behind us gybe set, but it ended up paying off as we extended our lead around the gates. From there we covered the fleet and were able to finish in first, securing the bronze medal. We cannot wait to keep this momentum as we head into August and our second Olympic Test Event. The last two medal races we have won, we cannot wait to make it three in a row!

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