September 14, 2010
After a quick 36 hr stint at home and a few loads of laundry to wash away the remnants of the E Scow Nationals, the bags were repacked and it is off to San Francisco for the beginning of what will be a long 2 weeks in preparation for the Melges 32 World Championships. The 32 Worlds will mark the end of a very busy 2010 season, and will also be the final regatta in the 2010 circuit for the Samba Pa Ti Melges 32 team that has been working hard for over a year to make a run at the 2010 World title. With a quick look at the crew list for the Pre-Worlds and Worlds, it is very apparent that winning will not be an easy task and whichever team walks away with the title on Sept 25th will not only have had to sail extremely well, but will have to have some good luck on their side.
During a World Championship regardless of the class of boat, there is always a heightened sense of anticipation and excitement as the regattas and days tick down to the actual event. Rumors swirl about what is fast, who is sailing on which boat, and who has the latest boathandling technique that make doing a gybe-set in 25 kts a cinch. It is very easy to get caught up in all of the hype and the biggest challenge it remain focused on your boat, team and what it will take to sail well individually. Not only is there good natured excitement on the dock, but there will no doubt be some very negative aspects that emerge from this World Championship. There will be some measurement infractions, redress hearings and some hotly contested protests that emerge from the water as was seen during the 2009 Worlds when eventual Champions Bliksem won a hard fought protest with then 2nd place boat, Team 93. Bliksem would go onto win the worlds, but had the protest been decided differently, they would have had a hard time taking the title.
But all of the above is what separates a World title from a National or big name event. The Worlds is the ultimate pinnacle of the racing season which relegates even the best and most competitive regattas leading up to the event as simply “training”. I have been asked by several of my non-sailing friends what it means to win a world championship. My response is it elevates you to a level amongst sailors that is achieved by very few, much like winning a Super Bowl, World Series or Stanley Cup. Sailing of course presents a different challenge since you are not competing against one playoff team at a time, but in the case of the 2010 worlds, 33 teams all at once loaded with the worlds best sailors. The scary thing about this event is that if you find yourself in the back of the fleet, it will be just as challenging as the front of the fleet.
As for the Samba, we are feeling as good as we reasonably can with our settings and preparation, and the only thing left to do is…execute. Sailing clean tactically and boathandling wise will be a huge key to success and if we can manage to stay out of the fray on the starting line, near marks, and avoid any “majors”, we should be able to put ourselves in a good position headed into the last day. Upon arrival later today (Tuesday) in SF, we will take care of weigh in and head out for a brief shakedown sail in preparation for the Pre-Worlds/Rolex Big Boat Series which begins on Thursday. Just like the Cal Cup a few weeks ago, teams will be pushing hard to sail well in this preliminary event, but will be careful not to tip their “hand” and give away any of their speed or boathandling techniques.
Stay tuned to 42marine.com for the inside scoop from racing at the Melges 32 Pre-Worlds and Worlds. The Pre-Worlds take place Sept. 16-19, with the World Championships Sept. 22-25.
No Comments »
No comments yet.TrackBack URL