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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hyeres Day Three

So Southern France is beautiful and all, but man it is windy and the wind is cold!!! We have had two races a day since starting racing on Sunday. Sunday was 20 knots for the first race (swimming lessons) and 25 for the second race, which we opted to not sail and came in early. Monday we had only 15-20 knots, and had two races. We struggled with our starts and speed. Today the forecast was for 30 knots at 2 pm. So the race committee changed our start time to 9 am. Now, this might seem acceptable to you - you probably start work at 9 am. But it takes over 30 minutes to sail down to our course, which is like 4 miles away. So this morning I got up just after 6 to go run and stretch (otherwise my back will not function correctly) then we got to the boat park at 7, and launched just before 8 am. I've started a few races at home in Alberta at 9 am, but nothing like this! So we had two races in 20 knots. Our first race we actually did really well! I think because we chose the correct gear setting for the conditions. We had a not great start but were at the biased end, tacked on a few shifts and just generally went fast. We lost boats on the reach/run after a slow spinnaker hoist but then gained back a bunch of boats on the second beat. Best of all, we didn't capsize at all! The second race we again had a bad start at the biased end but had trouble getting clear and ended up sailing on the headed tack a lot. We were hit by a huge puff on the reach and capsized. Normally this would be fine, but for some reason the jib kept re-cleating and we couldn't get the boat up for about 10 minutes. By this time the fleet was GONE. We decided to head in as we had had one really good race. On the way in just as we came into the harbour the block on our rudder came off, so I'm really happy it didn't happen during a race, or we we would have had no steering! The great thing about the early start this morning was even after the hour long sail in, it was still before noon! Home to shower until out of hot water and then I had an excellent nap. It is now extremely windy but sunny! Tomorrow the forecast is for slightly less wind but I will believe it when I see it. We have been trying to be more social since getting to Hyeres, it has been really nice to have a rental car so we can go visit people and still get home at a reasonable hour. Actually, the best part about our black rental car is getting in after sailing (still in our wetsuits) and it is super warm inside and we just drive home and shower/change there! Okay the regatta website is here. There are loads of pictures from the event so take a look.

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