November 12, 2011
With two days of the Melges 20 Nationals in the books, our team in M and M racing has had the satisfaction of piecing together what it takes to win a regatta…just not all at the same time. On day 1, we fought hard with decent boathandling and tactics, but with boatspeed that was slightly off the pace, we found ourselves just back of the front group. On Day 2, we fixed our boatspeed problems, but struggled tactically and had more difficulty getting of the starting line. The fleet is much tougher than last year, and if our goal is to get into the top 5 in future events, we need to put all of the pieces together all at once.
Michael Kiss’ team on Bacio has put on a clinic and clearly have wheels that no one else in the fleet does. This was best shown when they were over early in race 5, well back of the fleet and clawed back to 4th place…at the first top mark! With the RC setting the windward the mark about 8:1 on port tack vs starboard, the majority of the racing thus far has been full drag racing conditions where if you can’t put the bow down and let er rumble, you often end up getting rolled and have to accept being relegated to the B fleet.
We have done a good job of fighting through some really hard spots on the race course and battling to the end of each race, and while we have been average upwind, our downwinds have generally been very good. Our squad took a punch to the gut in what was the first race of day 2 when we had carved out a nice 2nd place behind the Bacio team after 1 lap, only to have the race abandoned at the bottom mark for what they deemed was too big of a shift. Mother F’er. It would have been nice to start the day with a nice finish and get off on the right foot.
Two more races are scheduled on the final day, and with a few boats in front of us within reach, we can still nab a top ten overall finish. The racing has been some of the best we have had in the 20 thus far with the boats ripping downwind, an hopefully we get one more day of big breeze to cap off a fun weekend.
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