by Will Tiller
Detroit greeted us with miserable conditions today, drizzly rain and very fickle winds. Having three races remaining in the round robin our aim for the day was to make it into the quarter finals. We sat out the morning on shore waiting for the wind to play game, allowing us to watch the All Blacks epic game.
Racing got underway around 1 with us first up against Taylor Canfield, this didn’t turn out to much of a race. As we entered on starboard the breeze fully faded and shifted well right leaving us struggling against tide to enter. Down towards the pin he had more pressure and was able to enter and set up to leeward of us holding us out. We managed to just roll over his bow to enter but then we were in a very tricky position and had to fight hard, as the gun went we were judged to be over the line costing us dearly as we had to push tide to get back. The rest of the race was a bit of follow the leader as with the right shift there were no tacks or gybes in the race. Normally a race like this would be called off but for some reason it was not.
For our next two races the wind settled down and filled in allowing for some actual match racing. In our match against the Russian team we won the left hand side off the line with them tight to windward. On the first beat we stretched out a 2 boat length lead and held this down the run, we again added to our lead on the next upwind leg going into the final run with 8 boat length advantage. They chose to gybe set while we extended in what we believed nice pressure. It turned out we sailed into a big hole in the pressure while they picked up an awesome puff and sailed around us, in hindsight we should have covered.
In our final race we were up against local sailor Chris Van Tol and top American ranked skipper. He held a slim advantage off the line but we kept it close and on the final run we sailed the pressures perfectly to get the lead and take the win.
With time running out the RC decided to cut out the quarter finals and go straight into the semis, this spelt the end of the regatta for us. Our next regatta is the Knickerbocker Cup stating on Thursday and we are looking putting together a much better performance.
We would like to say thanks to our principal sponsor Chris Meads from Full Metal Jacket, SLAM, Aon New Zealand and The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Stay tuned, FMJ Racing
Full Metal Jacket Racing