Thursday, 23 September 2010

Women's World Match Racing Championships: Repechage Tomorrow

Overshadowed. Image copyright Fried Elliott/
by Anna Tunnicliffe

Despite the great racing that we had today, we just missed automatically qualifying for the gold round and quarter finals, and have to win our way in through the repecharge. We sailed five races today and finished 3-2 today to take our total to 6-3.

This morning we were greeted with 15-17kts as we sailed out to the race course, but it died to 13-15kts for the start of the first race. Our first race was against Nicky Souter from Australia. We didn't have a great start, but managed to stay close to her all around the track. On the last downwind leg, we almost got the pass at the finish, but she just managed to hold on as we crossed the line to beat us by half a length.

Our middle three races, we won the start and sailed fast to take a comfortable lead in the races and hold on to take the three points for the wins.

Our last race was once again an close and exciting race against Claire Leroy from France. The race started even with Claire to the right of us. We tacked and ducked her and took the right hand side of the course. We made slow gains upwind, to the point of being bow even, but made a mistake of hanging too long on her hip before tacking away, and she was able to tack with us and pin us to layline.

We held on and rounded about a boat length and a half behind, but were able to surf up to her downwind, and rounded the bottom mark right on her transom. Upwind, we stayed close again, but at the top of the run, our guy came out of the block (the rope that controls the spinnaker pole), so while we were re-rigging that, we lost about a boat length on her. Again, we had great speed downwind and pulled her back in, but just ran out of race course at the bottom and she crossed the line just ahead of us.

We were disappointed, but it is what it is and we can't dwell on it. We learned some valuable lessons from today, and are looking forward to the repecharge tomorrow. The format for the repecharge is a bit complicated, but involves all the competitors who did not qualify straight through to the Gold round robin.

We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their support.

Team Tunnicliffe
Women's World Match Racing Championships