Youth Olympics – Day 1 report & RSA results

youth olympics - day 1Rob Holden reports

Last night we had dinner at 20h00 and were in bed by 09h30 as this is now the rule while we are competing. I did not have any problems getting Megan and Calvin into bed or out at 05h40 as we were on the bus at 07h00.

There was an air of nervous excitement on the bus and little was said, but some extra sleep was squeezed in. We arrived at the venue to find little to no wind and the forecast was not dead, but not exciting, so we rigged the boats and got them to the slipway where the expected postponement stopped us.  Our plan was to get on the water at 10h00 start at 11h00 and sail 3 races, but alas we got onto the water at 11h45 and the Byte fleets had to take the long sail to area B, far around the corner, and this took more than 45 minutes. Then it was the perfect race officers nightmare with breeze going from 1.8 knots to 7 knots, but shifting between 350 and 80 degrees with no apparent pattern, and not lying in one direction long enough for the Race Officer to get the fleets away.

The RO tried 3 times only to postpone with 3 seconds to go. After this frustration she jumped into a RIB and headed to another part of the pond (it is a pond) to see if she could find some elusive breeze. This act of course caused the wind to settle on 40 degrees and blow a nice 6 knots, but we had no RO. On her return from an unsuccessful mission she was given grace by the wind gods and the breeze held long enough to get one very light and very shifty race in.

The top sailors were still at the top though. Calvin Gibbs had a reasonably good start and almost got the phases up the beat right, but lost a bit when he did not continue to the right like he felt he should have, but let other sailors keep him left of middle. He was quite quick on the downwinds after he figured out some of the small tweaks of the boat. Calvin managed to hold onto a very credible 16th in very difficult conditions and a competitive fleet well done to him.

Megan Robertson got rolled by a couple of boats on the start and from there battled to get into synch with the shifts that had now become worse again, but she too was competitive on the downwinds. She never recovered from the bad start and first beat and finished 27th.

The race Officer then tried to start another race as the wind picked up again, but as if to spite her in the last few seconds of the start sequence it swung 40 degrees to the left and she abandoned.

The reports from course area A where the Bic Techno boards were racing were of 7-10 knots steady breeze and they were in their last race of the day so the RO very wisely upped anchor and moved over there. When we got there we indeed found 7-10 steady on 40 Degrees so we waited for the boards to finish and in no time got a course set and away went the fleets.

Calvin got a nice start, but got held left by a couple of boats and then made a few tactical errors up the beat giving himself a lot of work for the rest of the race and although he pulled in a couple of places on the last run he finished 20th in a dying wind.

Megan got rolled again this time by the Brits and ended up in the third row, but she had a good beat and worked her way into about 15th. By this stage the wind was really almost gone and there were patches all over the place making it almost impossible to read, so she lost a few places and ended with a good 20th.

The protests also favoured Megan and looking at the results her 27th has become a 25th – nice when that happens.

So at the end of the day our sailors held their own and we look forward to another day, although the forecasts do not look good for the next 3 days so we may be doing that thing sailors do so much of – which is sitting and waiting.

Megan is lying 25th after 2 races and Calvin 19th after 2 races.