Three decent races yesterday in a light and shifty Northeasterly kept us on target for making Silver Fleet here at the 49er World Championships. We are very happy that we are continuing to meet our team objective of qualifying for Silver Fleet throughout our first European World Cup Tour. This is no easy task as we are still struggling with our fast forward speed and lack of experience. Additionally, we are also excited to be meeting our second objective which is to have no alphabets (DNF, DSQ, TLE) in our scoreline. Remarkably, making this second objective is much harder than one would expect!
On a side note, yesterday was also climactic as the final five berths for the 2012 Olympic Games were determined. In a final showdown against other nations and fellow countrymen, Bermuda, Canada, Greece, Italy, and Japan qualified for Gold Fleet which secured their spots at the Games.
Today we had very light winds around 3-7 knots filling after noon. The trend continued as Zach and I had great starts although we weren’t able to hold a lane for more than a minute or two out to the left–need more speed! This often left us unable to execute our game plan and would force us into the middle of the race course early on in the beat–rarely productive. However, this was no issue in race one as we battled in the top three around the marks. This race was by far the most fun we have had racing in a while since we were sailing well through the water and able to play the game the way we wanted. Throughout the race, we battled Italy and Uruguay ultimately finishing third overall!
Race two and three was a bit windier, closer to 7 knots, and we found ourselves a bit off the pace at times and had some bad exchanges with the fleet, but we still ended the day with a 17-14. Once again, the fleet pushed the line hard and some teams managed to secure a few black flag penalties, which only has only helped to close the points gap–alphabets in the score line are bad!
We moved up six places today and we are in 19th/25 in Silver and 44th overall. However, the points are close and the light winds and numerous black flag penalties make further progress up the ladder highly possible.
We have been told that we are by far the most visible team from shore with our American Flag and black Hedgeye logo prominently displayed on the main sail. Thank you Hedgeye and all of our friends and family at home for their support!