Saturday 11 September 2010

Difficult Day: Light Winds and Waves, at the Buddy Melges Challenge

by Anna Tunnicliffe

It was a difficult day of sailing today in Sheboygan at the Buddy Melges Challenge. The wind started off quite well for the morning group who had four races to finish. When we finally got out on the water, the wind had died to about 6kts, but there was a 2-4ft swell left over from the morning winds, which made sailing quite challenging as the wind slowly died through the rest of the day to eventually die out during our last race.

We finished our last two round robin races 1-1 to take our overall record to 4-2. This seeded us 3rd in our group but still put us into the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal teams were drawn from the top four teams of each group. We completed three races today and finished 1-2. We were leading every race at some point, but small mistakes cost us the wins in two races.

Our first race was against Sam Osborne from New Zealand. With the lead flip-flopping numerous times, we were able to hold on to the lead we took up the second windward leg and start the series 1-0. Our next race was against Mandy Mulder from the Netherlands. Leading her off the line, we did what tactically we should have done and forced her to tack away, but unfortunately, the wind was getting light and spotty and we sent her towards a puff on the water we didn't see. Next time we came back together, she had passed us. From that point on we couldn't catch her again. This loss took our record to 1-1.

Our last race was against Katie Spithill from Australia. Up the first beat, we held the lead. At the top mark, we unfortunately rounded on the outside of a boat in another match and were sailed a bit high allowing Katie to gain some distance on us. She rolled over the top of us so we gybed away, and when we came back together, we were about one and a half boat lengths behind.

At the bottom mark, we were left with about 2 kts of breeze but still the same lumpy sea state. We tacked away to the right side of the course, and Katie went left to try and minimize tacks. When we came together, we had gained back control of the race and took a one and a half boat length lead. Again, she had a very strong position to pass us downwind. We gybed and gybed back to split tacks. When we came together at the bottom of the course we were bow to stern. We split gybes one more time and Katie drifted across the line in the waves to take the lead and drop our series score to 1-2.

Results After Day One:

Group A:

Sam Osborne-NZL 4-1
Sally Barkow-USA 3-1
Anna Tunnicliffe-USA 3-1
Genny Tulloch-USA 3-1
Juliana Mota-BRA 1-3
Ru Wang-CHN 1-3
Anne Marie Shewfelt-CAN 0-5

Group B:
Katie Spithill-AUS 3-0
Nicky Souter-AUS 3-0
Juliana Senfft-BRA 2-1
Lotte Meldgaard-DEN 1-2
Maegan Ruhlman-USA 1-2
Mandy Mulder-NED 1-2
Katie Abbott-CAN 1-2
Maggie Shea-USA 0-3

The forecast for tomorrow is for big breeze with four more races to go in the quarterfinals. There is live tracking and video on the regatta website along with the results.

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.

Sail Hard,


Team Tunnicliffe
Buddy Melges Challenge