war of the worlds
Bora Gulari checks in from onboard West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes, currently sitting in 7th after 2 races at the Melges 24 Worlds. Results here. No racing today – no wind!
It started off with two general recalls before we confidently headed and won the left side of the beat. Unfortunately, the right side paid. The next beat, we won the right. Surprise; the left side won. We now think we have a good set of indicators for which side of the course is favored in the breeze we’ve been seeing. For those of you that have sailed in Torbole, normal conditions seems to be about 70/30 in favor of the left side, up against the wall. Since we’ve been here, it’s the opposite. The team did a great job of working together, upwind and down and I think tactician Brad Funk is getting a good grasp on Garda again; it’s been a long time since he raced here. Either way, I’m certainly excited for Wednesday.
What went right? Our starts were excellent, and the last ¾ of each race we performed well. For the starts in a fleet this size – even split into two courses – imagine as big a line as you can, where you likely can never see the pin or the boat in the final minute. Add in a superstar PRO like Hank Stuart who will nail pretty much everyone that’s OCS, and you know you need to be ON IT or you’re going to get a penalty, or get spat out the back. Our Velocitek ProStart is the best friend we have in these situations, and I am religious about making sure our pings are perfect. Brad, Jonny, and Matt are believers now, Bear always was. Knowing how far out we were allowed me to force a boat up on one start; I knew he was over a few feet, and sure enough, 30 seconds after the start he had to turn back thanks to ‘eagle eye Hank’.
So our starts were good, but our last ¾ of the races today were great. We never rounded the first mark in the top half of the fleet, but with this group of crazy moth sailors aboard, that does not mean squat. Picking off boats in groups of 5 at a time was an amazing feeling, with most of it happening downwind. For whatever problems the boys were having up the first beats, they were doing an amazing job downwind calling pressure, and with a couple good leeward mark roundings, they were able to save me from some serious panic attacks. I can’t wait to have a couple of good first beats. We’re just 7 points out of the lead; we didn’t win the Worlds on the first day, but we didn’t lose it either, and that’s what matters.
Parting words: you know you are in trouble when the forward hands find all the sponsor stickers. You can’t even see the paint on our rental car any more, but it certainly won’t fall apart thanks to a dozen huge stickers for West Marine, Harken, and Kaenon. Photo courtesy Pierrick Contin/pierrickcontin.fr.
Talk to you tomorrow.