I’m home again after almost a month away, a broken computer, and some very limited internet access (both in Europe and in the US). The good news is we finished fourth at Kiel Week, I had a great time in Newport over the weekend fleet racing Melges 24s after all the match racing, I took my computer to the Mac store yesterday (hope to get it back next week!),and I now have almost a week at home before leaving again!
For a final wrap-up of Kiel Week: teammate Alice Manard and I were fortunate to have Jenn Chamberlin as our new middle, and after a great week of training at the Chicago Match Race Center and some travel difficulties on Alice’s end, we setup at the USTTAG Base in Germany for the 6th event of the 2010 World Cup. Twenty-four teams qualified for the event, and when we won our initial grouping we advanced through to an automatic spot in the quarterfinals, and Gold Round Robin Racing. The week was light air, but the match racers completed almost all of our racing while the other fleets were mostly postponed. We enjoyed the benefits of being close to land and on short courses; even if it made for some very shifty races, some big chop as the other fleets towed in and out, and some late nights.
In the end we were seeded against #1 World Ranked British team of Lucy Macgregor for the quarterfinals, and were initially down 1-2, sailing late into the night on Tuesday. With all the races needing to be done before 3 pm the next day, the Race Committee had us out early, and we won our two do-or-die races against Lucy to advance to the Semifinals against Claire Leroy. The conditions had us close to the shore with a very shifty and puffy offshore breeze, and it was often who won the start and got to the first shift would be able to control the race. We were happy to have done that to Lucy’s team, but then unfortunately lost the next 2 races to Claire off the line. The third race we led around the course but she got some better shifts on the final upwind, was close on our tail at the weather mark and was able to gybe inside at the mark and pass us on the downwind, sending us to the petit finals, against our own American teammates, Team Tunnicliffe.
The duke-out for bronze was interesting, with Anna’s team winning the first race but as the clock ticked down there would only be time for one last race, so whoever won the final race would win the bronze. We saw pressure coming down on the left, won the pin and tacked on the left shift, leading them by three boatlenghths or more. But as we approached the weather mark the race committee abandoned the race due to the windshift, and rushed us back to restart. Unfortunately the next race went to their team, with us getting a penalty right at the start for tacking too close with them at our stern, so we ended up fourth for the event.
For a first time sailing with a new teammate we were pleased to have finished fourth, having won our initial round over Claire Leroy, and defeated Lucy Macgregor in the quarterfinals. We left some to be desired in the final races, but very much know what we can continue to improve upon. We’d like to thank USSTAG—it was a great week for our entire American team at Kiel, with 7 teams in the top five, and was a great time for all of us staying together at The Farm. We’d also like to thank the St. Francis Foundation and the Ragnot Amateur Sailing Associatiaon for their support, our suppliers GU Energy and Kaenon Polarized, and Fried Elliott for his wonderful pictures from the week. From here we go on to defend our title at the US Women’s Match Racing Championship next week in Sheboygan, WI, in Sonars, then continue to have a very full summer after that, leading up to the Women’s Match Racing Worlds in September in Newport, RI.