South American 49er Champs. RSA Team Improving with each race

Graeme Willcox & Andrew Tarboton - RSA 49er
Graeme Willcox & Andrew Tarboton – RSA 49er

by Graeme Willcox

Day 2.
After a long postponement due to no wind, a light patchy sea breeze filled in from the ESE. The FX’s were up first and only needing one race to finish off the qualification series, the 49ers were sent out shortly after to get our last race in.

After a short postponement on the water we started in a dying sea breeze which was switching back a forth. We had a good start, but got squeezed just after peeling Nathan Outeridge off our hip, we tacked into a clean lane and headed up the course. At times we looked to be lifting right to the top mark, but just short of a third of the way up the pressure filled in from the left and the pack rode in over us, leaving us a painful sail on starboard back to the weather mark.

With a gybe hoist to clear ourselves form the dirty air we made good ground down the run and took the left hand mark and headed back to the right as there was less dirty wind out there. We made up some ground, but no places, and had a bit to do down the last run. We managed to get out to the right on the run and made a couple of spots on the last run to finish up 23rd today. So after the 4 qualifying races, we go into tomorrow’s Fleet races in 48th position, and in the silver fleet.

Tomorrow the forecast is for a Northerly of about 10 knots. It’ll be nice to twin wiring again!

Day 3
Today the gold fleet were sent off first. They had. Long postponement while the wind built. We, the silver fleet, were sent out an hour later and arrived just as the gold fleet were starting their third race.

We started in a building sea breeze from the SE. The first race was marginal wiring conditions and after getting peeled off not long after the start we made our way through the switches and kept left of the fleet. This was the theme for the day, trying to get left, as there was better pressure out there. We missed a switch on the second beat which allowed the pack to catch up with us and then had a tight run back down to the finish.

The next 2 races were in the building sea breeze which built enough by the last race to allow us to be flat wiring downwind. With two good starts we managed to pick our way through the fleet to score results in the teens.

We are improving with each race and getting back into the swing of things and with some good boat speed and minimising the mistakes, we are climbing up the leaderboard. Tomorrow’s forecast is for much the same, twin wiring, so looking forward to wrapping up the South Americans on a high.

Results after 7 races:
20; 18; (25); 23; 23; 16; 17

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