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September 23, 2011

Besides needing to have meticulous boat preparation, fresh sails with current designs and a hungry, physical team, the main challenge at a World Championship is trying to execute the proper game plan and get off the favored end of the starting line when every other team is thinking the same thing.  Everyone knows what the right thing to do is, and the tough part is being the part of the small percent that can execute it.  On day 3, we continued our unimpressive trend of having a keeper first race, then following it up with a starting error in the 2nd and having to watch the race unfold from the back instead of being part of it.

Our problem in the 2nd race was that our luck of not being OCS with the boats around us had run out.  In a few of the races so far, we have managed to be just bow back while the boats around us were hailed over early, but in the afternoon race we were late to our approach at the boat end, were exposed early when we tacked onto our final approach and did our best to stay hidden, but had our bow numbers called after what looked like an awesome start.  The boat again fell quiet as we headed back to the line as we knew we were in for a long one.

The first lap is usually pretty uneventful as we do our best to dig back, but as the fleet compresses at the bottom mark the next upwind offers some hope as we get back into the mix and try to pick off some boats. We did a nice job of catching up to the back third of the fleet and having a shot at the top 15, but missed out on one last shift at the bottom end of the course and watched as a few of the boats we caught passed us back.  The good news is even when we are deep, the team continues to work hard and fight for every point.  We have mixed feelings of knowing we are sailing well enough to be in the top 5, but have had 2 unforced errors that have cost us a lot of points.

Every team has struggled at some point and with a decent, single digit finish still attainable, we really need to get mean and execute on the starting line for two solid races today.   The conditions are pretty much on repeat with a delay in the morning lasting until about 12pm and a light seabreeze filling around 1pm.  Some good on-board highlights from a few of the teams on day 3 showing how taxing the racing can be on the tacticians. Results.

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