Monday, 16 November 2009

USWMRC: St Thomas, USVI, Day 3 - 1-0 In The Semi-Finals

Preparing to hoist the kite on Anna Tunnicliffe's boat. Image copyright Dean Barnes.

by Anna Tunncliffe

We entered the first race of the semi finals today and won it, after wrapping up the third round robin. We won six of the seven races today to finish the preliminary rounds 20-1. Our opponent in the semi's is Anne Gardner-Nelson. Ours was the last race of the day and we are leading 1-0 in a first-to-three point series.

With a day that started with slightly lighter conditions than yesterday, things began to get tricky when the afternoon thunderstorms started to fire up. A couple of big storms barrelled through, but then one just sat over the island next to us, throwing down some spectacular lighting bolts and impressive rolls of thunder, but luckily it stayed over the island and we didn't get it too much of it.

Our only loss in the preliminary series was to Katy Lovell. She sailed a very good race and deserved the win. We went left of the line and started at the committee boat about a boat length behind. At our first meeting, she was still only a boat length ahead of us, and couldn't quite cross us. We tacked away and when we came back together we had a lead on her. She went for the duck, and we countered it by bearing away at her, but we didn't do it quite right and although we tacked onto Katy's hip, we couldn't hang and had to tack away. At the top mark, we were right behind her and rolled her towards the bottom of the downwind leg. When Katy gybe back to the mark, she broke the overlap and we had a bit of trouble recovering our spinnaker so didn't have a great rounding. She extended a couple of boat lengths on us and we just couldn't quite pull her back in after that. It was a good race, and got us re-focused for the rest of our day's racing.

In the semi's we got to pick our opponent from the other three who qualified, because we won the round robin series. We picked Anne, and also chose to enter on starboard first. Anne got to choose which boat she wanted. The conditions for the race were quite different from the other races we have had in the event. The storms had swung the breeze around so that it was blowing right off the hill. The wind had dropped to about 4kts and the seas were quite choppy. We had a great start and my team did a fine job finding the breeze to get us around the course the quickest.

Anna Tunncliffe
US Women's Match Racing Championships

No comments: