mountain high and low

mountain high and low

Switzerland’s Lake Silvaplana ain’t the easiest place to hold a regatta – it’s cold as shit, laws prevent anything permanent from being built at the water’s edge, and the infrastructure is iffy at best, but Jean-Pierre Ziegart and his crew have managed to attract more than 80 Moths to its alpine shores for the 2010 SYZ&Co Moth Europeans – and it’s breeze on!  Check out this video from day one, and read below it for a report from ‘US Air Force’ captain Bora Gulari.  Note that Bora is now in second place after a 2,1,1 scoreline on Day 2, but he was too spent to put together another report…

Thanks for all the well wishes, It actually was a fairly rough day…In the first race, my mainsheet block fell off during the sequence and I was scrambling to tie it back on at the gun, stuck in irons at the committee boat with a massively left side favored race course.  Chris Rast nailed the beat and was the first American at the top.  The finish line is tucked up in this tiny cove upwind of the launch, so after I finished I hightailed it to the beach where supercoach Dave Oswald was waiting for a quick pitstop.

In the second race it was once again massively left side, Charlie Mckee’s spirit was strong in both Anthony’s and my mind.  We both burned down to the pin to try to start on port.  Anthony lead the charge and had a slight flub slowing down and rolling to weather dodging a starboard tacker.  I was hot on his heels and put my 8.5ft wide boat through a 4 foot hole.  One wing was above Anthony’s head while the other wing was over the leeward wing of a non foiling starboard tacker. Then there was the next starboard tacker.   I did my best to avoid but capsized right in front of her.  I looked up after righting the boat to see Anthony had actually made it through and had a 100 yard lead on the fleet!  For the rest of the race team USA was closely grouped together finishing almost in order.

For race three I thought all I wanted was an ok start and I let the race unfold before me.  Charlie must channeling all his energy over here, because I saw Anthony do a port tack run down at the pin, and well – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  So I burned down to the pin to get set up on port.  Once again Anthony lead the charge this time I left a little more space between us hot on his heels.  Unfortunately both of us could not find a hole and ended up only crossing only 10-15 boats on a port tack start at the boat on a left favored course… Shit!  Looked up to see Nathan Outteridge 300 yards in-front of us.  A couple tacks later we were at the weather mark with Nathan having a comfortable lead.  I was lucky and nailed the last tack to stay foiling on the offset and looked back to see everyone else low riding.  Nathan and I were off, and for the next run and beat we were jockeying with each other the whole way. On the second run I was able to get a nice puff and get past him. We continued to duel, but he was finally able to make it past me 100 yards from the finish as I found a hole and he got a very nice left shift with a puff. Oh well,  I am pretty happy with the results considering I don’t think I have made it off the line yet.  I wish I had a ten foot-long bamboo stick to hit people during the pre-start, it is totally crazy and I feel like I am a big magnet – people just keep getting closer. 

It is the most exciting sailing I have ever done, especially the last 20 seconds, when you have 80 starboard tackers bearing down on you with closing speeds of 30 knots.  Team USA are all inside the top 20, so far a great success for the three of us and Coach Oswald.  Watch tomorrow live on the TracTrac GPS viewer