Saturday, 15 May 2010

Anna Tunnicliffe Reports from the NYYC Womens Match Race Clinic

Molly, Anna Trimming Hard. Image copyright Dave Johnson, USSTAG, May 2010.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

The sun was out today in Newport and we had a beautiful day sailing. We finished up the round-robin in first place despite dropping one more race today, and advanced to the semi finals against Katy Lovell. We completed two races and are currently 2-0.

The day started with a chilly northerly breeze around 10kts. The current was flowing fast down wind which made for tricky long upwinds. We had three races in these conditions, with our last race being the closest race of the regatta thus far. In the last race, despite controlling the entire start, I made a mistake in the timing as we headed back for the start line and were behind just after the starting gun. We were behind by two boat-lengths at the top mark, but they misjudged the downwind layline and we caught back up to them. On the second beat, we managed to pass them and take the lead at the top mark. Downwind, the wind started to get very light. Half way down the leg, I looked up and saw a big line of breeze coming from the opposite direction. We quickly put up our jib and doused our kite, and managed to stay ahead of the other boat for the win.

After the wind changed directions, the race committee moved the course right into the mooring field between Ft. Adams and the NYYC. We finished our races there in a shifty and puffy 10-14kt breeze. The starts were exciting, and the racing much closer since the shifts were quite small and random. We lost our first race in these conditions to Sally Barkow despite having a great start and winning the side of the line that we wanted. Right after the start, we made the mistake of switching sides with her, and the breeze filled in on the side that she was on and there was no catching her from there. The other two races were close but we went on to win them to finish the round robin with a 12-2 record. Behind us in second was USSTAG team mate Genny Tulloch with a 11-3 record, and Sally in third with a 9-5. In fourth place was Katy Lovell whom we were matched up against for the semi's.

Debbie (hiding), Liz, Molly. Image copyright Dave Johnson, USSTAG, May 2010

We started the semi final rounds with the intention of only completing two of the flights today. We had a great first start with Katy and she drew two penalties meaning she had to spin one right off the line. From there we took a nice lead and held on to it for the finish. The next race, we again controlled the start but relinquished control with 20 seconds to go and gave her the better start. She pinned us out to the port layline which meant we had to follow her into the top mark. Downwind, we managed to get an overlap with luffing rights, but it wasn't quite enough to hold her out past the layline. She rounded the bottom mark and in a close match up wind, she still managed to round just ahead of us. Downwind, she opened the door for us to gybe on her wind and we took advantage of the opportunity to roll her and beat her by a boat length a the finish line. It was a close race and we had a lot of fun doing it.

Tomorrow is the final day of the regatta. We will complete the semi-finals and then do the finals or the petit-finals.

Note from SailRaceWin: This report was written Thursday. Current results are:
Friday 1300
Tulloch beats Lovell 2-0 to win Petit-finals
Barkow & Tunnicliffe tied 1-1 in best-of-five finals

Team Tunnicliffe
NYYC Women's Match Race Clinic