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Learning Lessons

race report

Learning Lessons

Rolex Miami OCR
Day 4

Occasional Anarchy crew member Phil Toth (sailing with Paul Mckenzie and having a pretty decent regatta) checks in from Star land…

It seems that just about everyone has learned their lesson over the last few days and have been leaving earlier and earlier to get out to the course on time for the 11:00 start. On top of that, most of the fleet has discovered a short cut that saves you about 15 minutes but requires you to play chicken with numerous mooring cans and channel markers as well as derelict live aboard boats, making getting out a very interesting affair. 

After getting to the starting area and a short postponement later due to a wind shift at the top mark, the first race got under way in a light 8-10 kts with plenty of lump that we have not seen so far this week. Off the start it was a bit deceiving whether to go right or left since there was no visible difference to be seen on the waters surface. The right had been paying all day yesterday and off the start that was the side with better angle so we tacked and went off on port. Not long after and to our dismay we noticed that the boats on the left had more pressure allowing the helmsman and crew to be both fully hiking and powered up. Where as over on the right hand side, we were doing everything we could to just keep the crew drooped over the side from drowning . Needless to say when the fleet came back together at the top mark we found ourselves rounding only one spot better than DFL.

Down wind we made did some good puff spotting and stayed in the pressure. By looking further up the course than just the top mark we were able see what was coming and that helped us to sail very smart down the runs.

Watching the top Star sailors in the world event after event, you realize very quickly that when you have a bad start or sail to the wrong side of the shift and round dead last…that the only way to react is to pull your head out stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with clawing your way back through the fleet. Mark Mendenblatt and John Von Schwarz got into this situation a bit when the went down the middle and the outsides of the run were paying with more breeze to be found outside. After some obligatory cussing and swearing like the proverbial sailor (pun intended) they put there heads down and made the best of it by getting a good bottom rounding and having solid tactics back up the course. Mark and John managed to work there way back up to 5th by the finish, which puts them back into the red jersey in 3rd for tomorrow. Results here.