Well, I'm dissapointed with my results from the 1st 2 races, but I did a few good things and I know I can improve.
I had a good start and good 1st beat. Just tried to stay right ish while playing shifts, and sailing towards the puffs. My speed was good, and I was top ten approaching the windward mark on the starboard layline. I thought I was a little overstood, but as we got towards the mark, I realized too late that I might not make it. I ended up hitting the mark and not even making it around, backing down, ducking boats, rounding, doing circles.... very sad and stupid. Losing 30 boats is not good.
It's weird how my decision making can change in a big fleet. I never have this problem in a small fleet.
Something for me to keep an eye out for: If you think you are on layline and people are crossing or ducking you to get farther out, then tack in a good spot when you can to get a little farther out. DONT DIG YOURSELF INTO A HOLE AND HOPE!!!!
I wanted to start close to the boat, but when I went looking for my spot at just over a minute to go, I was locked out. Gybed around to get back to a place, and could only start second row. Spent the whole race in bad air and mixed up waves. It is so shifty here, it is still hard to know whether to tack on every shift, or keep going to a side. The trend was to the right all day, with puffs coming off the shore, but there were so many shifts that were big angle changes, but didn't last very long. I tacked a lot, but maybe it would have been better to go hard right on the first and second beats to get to clearer air.
Stuff to do better:
Starts - Envision what the fleet will look like during the start and just after. If boat favored, and the right side of the course is favored, there is a good chance of a pile up at the boat. That means I have to get to the line around 2 min to go instead of 1.
Downwind - be more concerned about clear air, get clear early, and then work down towards the mark. Don't sail in bad air just to go straight, and only sail as far as I have to to get clear air.
Goal for races 3 and 4:
Two good starts. No stupid mistakes. Heads up on what the breeze is doing.
Conditions for the next couple days are in the teens gusting to 25. It's still going to be gusty and shifty.