Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The End - Races 11 and 12

Sitting in the airport in Dulles waiting to get back on a broken down plane. What better time is there to write about the end of the laser worlds! After waiting for a very mild sea breeze to fill in for the last two races, I watched Erika Reineke win the pin in the gold fleet and head right towards what looked like better pressure.

Race 11
   With the pin still quite favored for our start, I thought I would do the same thing. I didn't have too much trouble winning the pin, and I had a beautiful start. I wasn't sure I could cross the fleet, so I waited until other boats tacked. Now the whole fleet was on port, and I was on the left. The wind was very light, but I thought I was doing okay, since I was getting lifted inside the fleet. Then it really died, and filled in from the right side. I watched as the whole fleet to the right of me went faster and faster. So, that was the most important part of the race, once the breeze filled in, it didn't change too much. I made a few small gains but there was only so much I could do. I remembered the day before and kept my head in the game though, didn't get discouraged.

Race 12
   After a poor start near the boat, I tacked out and found a small lane going right. I focused on speed and clear air, and rounded the windward mark in the top 15. Worked hard downwind and played the right again upwind to start the reach in 4th! I was psyched to be making gains in light air and sailed really fast on the reach. Apparently it was too fast, since I got yellow flagged - 2nd time in the regatta. I didn't realize that meant I had to drop out of the race immediately, and I did circles instead. So that meant I had to score a DNE (score DNF but 'do not exclude').

   In the end, my scores in the last three races of the regatta were very painfull, but I learned some good things. I was able to ask the judge who yellow flagged me about the motion, and learned that I have to be much more careful to steer the boat in conjunction with my body movement - I think it is especially easy to rock but go straight when reaching, so I have to work on that.

   One thing that I have to work on is race attitude. I don't like to be pushy on the water, and I particularly dislike the whiny, irritable tone of voice that many of the other women use to yell at each other. But, the take-no-prisoners attitude is important! For example, I let other boats force me to the left side of the course when I want to go right. I should be tacking to port and trying to get away with crossing if I feel that is the way that I want to go.

Overall, the Worlds was an incredible experience! I can't wait for more big regattas because I know I can do better and I really want to use the things I have learned. Thanks again to everyone to helped make it possible.


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