With 5 races complete, our qualification round at the ISAF Worlds is over, and with Bronze fleet racing starting for us tomorrow, we are working hard to document the lessons and take-aways from these last two days. There is no sugar coating our results so far, but when we signed up for the World Championship as our first ever 49er event, we knew that we were jumping into the deep end, and we are confident that our hard knocks now will be one of the key factors in our success moving forward.
This morning’s conditions were a far cry from the beautiful, 10-15 knot conditions that we have spent the last month training in, here in Santander, and with 25 knots running against a flooding tide, the sea state made racing impossible on the inside course, and made for some epic photos on the 49er course outside of the harbor.
We were the second group to start, and after waiting for the wind to die a little bit, the race committee sent us out in 15-20 knots, which quickly became 10-18 blowing over the shore, causing huge pressure and angle differences across the course. While speed and boat handling have definitely been a major strength, the shifty, puffy conditions have served to exaggerate our deficiencies in race process, as they demand constant heads-up attention to the changes across the course. Two rough starts today meant that we were battling from behind in both races, though as we have gotten more comfortable with our racing process, we have been able to use our speed and boat handling to pick off more boats.
This fall, we will be working on sorting out the roles and responsibilities of each person on the boat, and we will be developing the right communication process to ensure that we can support each other effectively in our separate roles. We will be working on starting drills and playbook execution surrounding starting line escapes. We will continue to push the limits of our boat handling to be faster, and more reliable in tight situations.
The last two days have shown us for the first time without a doubt where the bar is, and have made us more determined than ever to reach the top. We are excited to take advantage of the last few days of final-series racing here in Spain to continue refining our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, before we get back to the grind in Santa Barbara!
Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support and encouragement over the last year, and to everyone who has made this trip possible. This is our first step towards the 2016 Olympic games, and without your support, we would not be here.
Photo Credit to Sailing Energy