Saturday, 20 August 2011
FMJ Racing at the Detroit Cup 2011. Supplied image.
by Will Tiller
Over the past couple weeks we have had an intense sailing and travelling schedule, taking us from France to Spain and over to America.
We started off with the Grade 1 event in Pornichet France, without the uses of Geeza we imported Garth Ellingham from Waka Racing to jump on the mainsheet and Brad was thrown onto the bow. Struggling to gel as a team our decision making wasn't as clear-cut as it had been, but we still managed to come through the round robin with 6 wins and 5 loses, having us meet Eric Monin from SUI in the quarter finals. Through some tough and close matches Eric managed to come out on top, after this we sailed off for the minor places and unluckily we drew the 'slow' boat and slipped right down to 8th. It was a disappointing result but we were starting well and are coming to grips with gennaker tactics.
After this Brad and Will competed in the Spainish Copa Del Ray regatta in the highly competitive Melges 32 fleet, racing with the likes of Don Cowie, we learnt a lot and really enjoyed the challenges of fleet racing and Palma is not a bad place to hang out. While Brad and Will were enjoying the sites of Palma Harry was helping out at the Oakcliff Sailing Center on Long Island, New York.
Our next regatta was the first event on the US Grand Slam Series, Chicago Grade 2 Invitational, held off of Navy Pier, Chicago. Dan Pooley has flown over from New Zealand to compete in the Grand Slam Series consisting of 4 events - Chicago, Detroit, Manhasset Bay NY, Oyster Bay NY. Dan is the teams expert mainsail trimmer, with Will helming, Harry on trim and Brad staying up on bow.
Full Metal Jacket Racing led the first two days of the three day event, the final day bought wind speeds of 18-25 knots, the team was confident with how we were going. Qualifiying 2nd into the semifinals we were paired to race Bill Hardesty fresh from winning the Etchell World Champs in San Diego, after winning the first race of the semis we were looking good to rap it up in two races with a textbook start by Will but we could not keep up with Bill's teams speed in the windy conditions and ended up with going down 2-1. This had us sailing off for third against Taylor Canfield who we beat comfortably to take the third spot.
We are now competing in the Detroit Cup and are into our second day of racing, this regatta is three up so we have Brad on the bow and Dan Pooley on the main. On the first day we were undefeated but today we have had a shocker dropping 4 races only winning against Laurie Jury. We now have 6 races off before finishing off our last three races of the round robin. Fingers crossed they hold quarter finals and we can pick our game up and sneak into the semis.