Today was action packed! Got up at 7.30 and went running as usual. Breakfast and biked down to the club. Checked the settings, discovered while rigging that the water bottle I have been drinking from for 3 months now is full of fungus/algae/mold (yummy!). Tried to wash it but no use, so had a coffee and bought some water bottles and tried not to think about what I've been ingesting (the biochem degree does NOT help with ignorance is bliss, let me tell you!). We were all ready to go and it was 10.30 so we decided what the heck, we'd be the keeners for the day. The boys had the same idea so it was Canada first off the boat ramp!
We sailed down to our course in about 10-12 knots. Once down at the race committee we pinned down to our 2 setting and went upwind to check it out. Once we'd gone upwind and downwind once it was only 11 am, so we did it again and manged to tune up with a Russian team. Then it was still only 11.30! Nice to get out early and be ready to go for a change! We put on some more clothing and chilled out until our start.
The wind was pretty up and down and shifty, but the pin looked favored so our plan was to start down there, get a clean start and tack on shifts/stay in phase with the fleet. First start we had a beautiful start, punched out with speed. It was a general recall, of course. Except the horn they are using on the RC boat is pretty whimpy (sounds like a very sad cat sometimes) so the fleet got away a bit before we realized the start was recalled.
Now, usually we have an amazing start and it is a generall recall and then we horribly screw up the real start. Today however was different! We managed to repeat our awesome start and go fast. In fact, we went faster then anyone else in the fleet for most of the day. We crossed back into the fleet 2/3 way up the beat and tacked ahead of and in front of everyone. In other words, we were WINING THE RACE for awhile! Then coming into the starboard layline I didn't have the confidence to leebow the five-time world champs, so we overstood the lay line and let about 5 boats get inside. The rest of the race was average. Not so flash on the downwinds or around marks, but picked up boats again upwind with our wicked fast boat speed. Ended up 22nd.
The second race we managed a repeat performance - rounded the top mark in 3rd and did a decent job on the downwind. Second upwind we usually catch up a whole bunch of boats but we were already solidly up in the fleet and we got forced left a bit far, so we stayed around the same. The reach we managed to hold off the Australians (both gold medalists) from rolling us until just before the mark. Then they capsized; I laughed and Hannah said this was bad Karma. True that! We went half way down the leg and capsized ourselves! Got it up but 24th in that race.
The third race we sat around for a bit before hand and the wind came up to about 18 knots. Pinned down to gear 4. Unfortunately Hannah lost her (expensive) sunglasses on the capsize, so she was now sailing blind. If you've never sailed the 470 in breeze, you can't appreciate how the water hits the crew's feet/calves and deflects exactly into the skipper's face. The skippers call it the "firehose". Especially nice if the water is cold!
So our start was okay, our upwind speed was okay, but not amazing like the first two races due to the fact that Hannah was actually sailing with her eyes closed (the salt water burns). Made a few mistakes around the course and we ended up at the back of the pack.
Once in from sailing we sat in the sun and ate some Paillea provided by the regatta. We discussed how after a hard day of sailing it doesn't matter what the food is or how bad it is, you'll eat it! It was funny after sailing noticing how everyone in the fleet has this haggard/exhausted look about them with wicked sunglasses tans and bloodshot eyes from the salt water.
The bike home was into the wind which was not so fun. I think I've had enough exercise for the day, except my muscles are stiffening up now so I'll still have to go for a light jog/stretch tonight!
Tomorrow we are back on the normal two races a day program with a 12 pm start. Check the regatta website there are pictures, video and you can watch the races again with the tracking.