Friday, 24 June 2011

Pärnu Sailing Week Match Race : Black Swan Racing finish 3rd in Estonia

Black Swan Racing: third overall. Image copyright Malle Kosk.

by Black Swan Racing media

Over the weekend we competed in the Parnu Sailing Week grade 2 event in Parnu, Estonia. Although situated on the Baltic Sea our race area was in the confined Parnu Harbour, making conditions extremely difficult. Our aim at the event was to sail more as a team in a four man boat as preparation for the grade 1 events later in the year.

We breezed through the round robin stage with a score of 7-2. Conditions during the round robin were fantastic with 8-15 knot westerly winds, making sailing in the harbour more manageable.

We drew William Tiller from New Zealand in the semi-final. Conditions had changed dramatically from the previous two days with the wind now off the land from the east at 3-8 knots. In the first race of the semi-final we won the start and lead to the top mark. We defended well on the downwind and took a two length lead into the 3rd leg. From here we sailed a little too defensive allowing Tiller to be closer to us on the rounding. We did a nice spinnaker hoist and setup well to defend our lead. Unfortunately we lost some ground on our next gybe maneuver loosing some speed in the very light conditions. This allowed Tiller to take our wind and sail past us to the finish.

In the second race we made a bad mistake in the start, allowing Tiller to take the favoured position. Despite looking good momentarily the wind was always going to shift back to favour the New Zealand team. This allowed them to sail a much easier race than we would ever like. This result was quite disappointing and we felt some difference in the speed of the boats which was also frustrating.

Of course we made sure we fought hard to secure 3rd position, defeating Henrik Haddad the Brazilian Champion 2-1 in the petite final.

"All in all it was an interesting event. We haven't sailed in this type of conditions for a while so we relearnt many important points. It was a good event to outline some of the things we need to work on in the team so we can try and step it up a level at the upcoming grade 1 events. Now we start our preparations for Match Cup Sweden, including 3 days of training in the DS37 yacht in Oslo, Norway." Keith Swinton Black Swan Racing.

Black Swan Racing would like to thank our supporters: Westrac Pty Ltd - the Equipment Management Company, Abbotts PTY LTD Chartered Accountants, Welling & Crossley, McNally Group PTY LTD, Musto Australasia and Trendmark Sweden Agent for Musto.

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