Saturday, 10 October 2009

RIWKC: Tunnicliffe in Lead After Day of Shifty Winds

Start of the second race. Image copyright Joanna Tunnicliffe.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

We had a good start to the regatta, finishing the day's three races with a 3, 6, 1 to have a 2 point lead over Canada's, Jen Provan. Third place is Dominique Provoyeur from South Africa with 14 points.

We initially pushed off the dock around 8:40, but while pulling up the main halyard, I stepped off the boat and fell in the water. I was OK, but a bit wet and cold, and my crew found it very funny. Luckily, I had a spare change of clothes in the car and did a quick change into dry clothes and then headed out to the race course.

The first race of the day, we had a great start at the pin end and worked the left side of the course. We rounded the top mark in the top 5 and then sailed the wrong way down the first downwind leg. We lost a lot of boats, but caught up on the second beat to fifth and then caught two more boats on the last downwind to finish 3rd.

Close racing. Image copyright Joanna Tunnicliffe.

The second race was a similar story. Again we made a big mistake at the top mark by gybe setting. We lost about 12 boats within the first minute of that leg, but again climbed back up the second beat to cross the line in 6th. The last race of the day was our biggest comeback of the day. We had a great start, but then got stuck on the wrong side at the top and lost a lot of boats. We sailed a very good second beat and caught up to third on a big left shift. We made a big move on the second downwind leg and passed the two boats ahead of us to take the lead and hold onto it until the finish.

It was a good start and a lot of cobwebs have been blown away. It has been a long time since our whole team has been fleet racing so it took a while to get used to the big picture of fleet race tactics. We are looking forward to tomorrow's racing. Again we have three races scheduled with a slightly lighter wind forecast.

Anna Tunnicliffe
Rolex International Womens Keelboat Championships

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