After returning from cold and rainy England this week to find out that San Francisco has been having the coldest and windiest summer in 25 years, I actually got to spend yesterday—the first sunny day here in more than a month—driving Steve Pugh’s Melges 32 in practice as he was out of town. It was a great way to be welcomed back into the area, an awesome day to get to drive a Melges, and a lot of fun to sail on my home waters! I’m looking forward to watching the 32s race this weekend and getting to see a day of the 18 ft skiffs racing (and maybe even sail myself on the woman’s team) next Monday, before leaving again on Tuesday for the next match race and a big month of training and events leading to the Match Racing Worlds at the end of September.
To sum up our end at Weymouth: we had a very great, close quarterfinal against Renee Groeneveld of the Netherlands, with a number of penalties against us ultimately determining our fate and a 2-3 loss. The unfortunate part was that the majority of our penalties we actually had the right of way, but the umpires decided we had either not given enough room or time for the other boat to keep clear. Tough loss, but good learning experience and some great sailing. We then went on to defeat Aussie Katie Spithill in the sail-off, but then lost to #1 ranked British team of Lucy Macgregor, to end up placed 6th overall.
Weymouth was a wonderful learning experience for me overall. In some ways it is easier to know what’s happening in the race from the middle spot, as the skipper is often more busy with the speed of the boat and the telltales. Especially with a shifty, puffy racecourse, the skipper has to be constantly in tune to the boats every need while the tactician can look around the course and at the other boat a lot more. I learned a lot about the weather conditions and race course area in Weymouth, much different from the racing we did there last year at Sail For Gold, as this time it was in the course area and the time of year that the 2012 Olympics will be. I also learned a lot about the middle/spinnaker trimmer’s role on the downwind in the Elliotts, and what the skipper and bow can do to help make the kite-trimmer’s job easier and thus the boat go faster. All really valuable information for me to take forward as we race the Elliotts in the Buddy Melges challenge and then gear up for the Match Racing Worlds at NYYC September 20-25th!!!
For now, it’s a couple days of reorganizing at home and getting to see some great racing on the SF Bay!
Picture attached is of our team winning the first race of the quarterfinals. Check out the news page on my site for more pictures from Weymouth.