April 13, 2013
Day 2 was tough. Not with regards to the conditions, or because my sailing shoes that I left out to dry next to our dock box are now missing, but because of the mental toll of being in the mix in all three races, and finishing with results that have left us ahead of just 1 boat in the overall standings. As the Russians on the boat next to us again celebrated another top day with champagne and interviews from the local media, a few of us sat on a stack of sails on the dock in a daze, thinking about what we can all do individually to improve our performance.
The effort on the squad is solid and there is no lack of determination, but to polish off our finishes we need to get better in all three areas of speed, tactics and boathandling, and figure out how to capitalize on decent starts and first beats. With first windward mark roundings all in the top 10, we have the capabilities to hang in the middle of the pack, but as is all too common with racing in a fleet like this, any hiccup puts you to the back of the back where it is tough to recover.
The RC postponed racing until 1pm for the sea breeze to fill, and when it finally did, we were able to get off 3 races in a 9-14 kt Westerly wind. This was further right that we had seen up to this point, and with the breeze going up and over the city of Gaeta, there was a big geographical shift in the right corner, and the boats that could get to the right first and dig in always did well. Not understanding how big of a benefit it would be to get to the corner and having to sail through a 20 degree header to get there, we tacked short of the corner a few times and looked ok, only to have the boats that crossed behind us extend further and round ahead of us at the top mark. Sometimes it pays to just put the blinders on, forget the data you normally rely on like compass heading, and put the boat where it needs to be.
There are 2 races left and we are looking to continue to improve in all phases and hopefully we can move up the standings a few points.
More good photos and results at Melges32.com
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