Weary At The Worlds
Our daily reports from the Melges Worlds will feature the work of the excellent Katie Burns as well as some words from Mr. Clean. Here’s Day 1:
Clean Report: The OTW Anarchy team delivered its first ever live streaming broadcast today from Day 1 of the 2009 Sheehy Lexus Melges 24 World Championship. While it was not without its glitches, it’s an exciting new technology that we believe will change the way racing is broadcast forever. We’re confident that, by the end of the week, you race fans will be on the edge of your chairs/couches/asses, especially if the action stays as up-and-down as it was today. Check out shooting and editing skills on the OTWA cameraman ‘the rev petey" and be sure to check out dozens of interviews and videos posted in the SA Melges 24 Worlds forum, 2009 Melges 24 Worlds. For more on that, we’ll go to Katie’s Report.
Katie’s Quips: I hate to be cliche and talk about how inconsistent the conditions are on the Chesapeake Bay, but has anyone ever noticed how inconsistent the conditions are on the Chesapeake Bay? I guess I should have gone around and warned everyone before the regatta started. I probably should have informed the rest of the world that a race on the C-peake Bay rarely kicks off without a course change at the downwind mark. Hell, our second race today even included a course change at the first top mark, which was a little stunning, however necessary after the huge left shift that left a half-dozen boats short of the pin end of the line at the start.
Before I get into the specifics about the racing today, I just want to talk a little about working as an On-The-Water Anarchy correspondent. Sure, the attire from Point Loma Outfitting is pretty badass, but as I learned a long time ago, wardrobe alone doesn’t make a production. We look great out on the race course, and it’s certainly easy to spot us, but did our performance today on the water match our athletic gear? Many of you have asked that question, and I want to talk a little about what happened.
Firstly, I feel that many people forgot that this is the first time Sailing Anarchy has attempted to go fully live covering races on the water itself. There are only six of us out on the water; one is our driver from LATIS Yachting Solutions, two are our video producers/shooters/editors/pimps/posters/prayer leaders Aaron Siegler and Petey Crawford, one is our photographer Meredith Block, and then there is Clean and myself for the commentary and tactical info. That being said, and apologetically so, it was a COMPLETE oversight on our part about updating the On-The-Water Anarchy thread in the forums on Sailing Anarchy. This oversight will be addressed tomorrow, and for those of you who cannot watch our coverage live, we will ensure that you can read current updates through the thread and see the racing action we recorded before the end of the day. We’re bringing two more computers tomorrow and we do want you to stay tuned – it’s too fun not to watch!
We will even bring extra computers to do this. Please stay tuned.
Another oversight on our part was not giving the right credit to the true designer of the 2009 Melges 24 Worlds official cake, which is totally badass. Though Cat Evans played a major part in ensuring the sailboats were correctly represented on the magnificent and stunning cake, it was Heather Evans, Cat’s sister, who put her heart and soul into baking it. She planned it out, taught us how to make and shape the sails, designed the boats, and overall created the final design for the giant dessert. I hope you guys watch the video of it and see how intricately the cake resembled a true race course. You can reach Heather Evans at [email protected].
Ok, I can FINALLY get to the racing aspect of today. Sorry it took me so long, but I bet your day didn’t start with a flying leap through the first floor of a rented house in Annapolis on account of some very strong coffee, so shut it!
The five legged first race started off pretty one-sided, with the majority of the fleet stacked up on the pin-end and headed to the left side of the course. The boats that went right started strong because they had a clear path, but it didn’t pay off at the top mark. Blu Moon, Quantum, and a few other strong programs who went left rounded the top mark first and headed for the gate, where the RC signaled for a left move to the next top mark. which proved for RC to call a course change to a more left upwind mark. Many of the boats continued what they did in the first upwind leg, however Quantum and some others went right and it paid off big, with Quantum sailing around Blu Moon and Kristen Lane on Brick House and opening up a 10 boatlength lead that they would extend to the finish. After all of the boats rounded the 2nd upwind marks, Mer and I went down to catch the finish, and I wish I had a video of what transpired next. You could say that Mer and I both have more than a little racing experience, so we were pretty damned embarrassed when neither of us could find the finish line after looking at EVERY RC boat in the area. Well, we finally realized that there was no finish-line because it was a course 5…suffice to say that I will be expecting the unexpected from now on!
The second race of today requires a bit more explaining, and I don’t even know that I can adequately describe it, but I’ll try, and you can watch the video to see if it makes any sense. So, the race course was set after a half hour of waiting around for a stable breeze. A big shift inside the sequence meant a hugely favored pin, right where all the spectators and press were, and everyone and their grandma just went for it. Both Millewa Milluna and WTF shot up to clear the pin, and both were called over early, with WTF tactician Steve Hunt screaming bloody murder at the T2P camera boat that completely blocked WTF off from their path back to the line. The press boats were yelling, the competitors were yelling, and only a last minute burst from our driver kept us clear while the cluster f&*k went on behind us.
With the left so favored, the boats in the middle and right were hosed from the beginning, and many teams at the top were ones that you just wouldn’t expect up there. With boats like World Champ Uka Uka, Quantum, Brick House, and World Champ Celon on Fantasticaa well at the back. And by the end of the day, those boats, as well as top teams like Simplicity, Wild Child, the other Brick House, and Corinthian World Champ Gannet are all in the teens or twenties. You don’t see that every day, but as one sailor said today, Annapolis may be the hardest place on Earth to race. Full results are here.
I’d love to keep going, but our internet is slow right meow and we have a lot to do to ensure tomorrow is FULLY covered and that no Anarchists are left without a current update on the latest Melges 24 Worlds news (see Day 2 Thread here). Stick with us as we explore all of our resources and adapt to our environment. I promise you we will figure it out and have everything up and running for you shortly. Stay tuned, and please support our sponsors if you want to see more of this on your computer in the future. Most of them are offering big discounts on their products and services for the OTW Anarchy audience, and don’t forget to watch tomorrow when they start giving away free swag! They are: Latis Yachting Solutions, Velocitek, Point Loma Outfitting, Ullman Sails Newport Beach, Saving Sailing, RBS Battens, Ocean Sailing Academy, Eastport Yachts, Charleston Harbor Access, and Justin.TV.
I heart Ronnie Simpson, by the way. Photos by Meredith Block.