Racing began on time yesterday with a 12 knot breeze slowly building to 25+ by mid day. Two races were sailed in the yellow fleet qualification group and Zach and scored a 12-OCS for the day.
In the first race, Zach and I had were late to accelerate at the pin, but had great boat speed and came out of the left top 6 at the windward mark. We had a good run and maintained our position at the leeward mark. Throughout the rest of the three lap course, the breeze began to build along with the waves and we found ourselves misjudging our laylines especially at the leeward mark. It’s difficult to find the layline and a good place to gybe in wavy conditions!
By race two, the breeze had begun to build to the low 20s as predicted, pitching the swells up to seven feet or more. Having seen these conditions last year during our time in Palma, we knew that if we could keep the boat upright we could easily finish in the top 5. An entanglement with another team at the boat end of the line within the final minute to the start, instigated a poor position near the line during the final countdown to the start. We started second row, and incorrectly assumed we had started cleanly and continued to race. During the first beat, the wind built to over 25 knots which made sailing extremely difficult. On starboard, the boat was launching well out of the water off the huge swells. By the windward mark, the difficulty of the sailing conditions was made apparent by the number of capsized boats. More than half the fleet failed to sail two legs of the course including ourselves when we capsized on a gybe for the leeward mark layline. In all, only 5 boats completed the course and racing was immediately postponed on shore. Some boat carnage and equipment breakdowns were prevalent in all classes.
Racing for the second qualifying fleet was postponed onshore and eventually cancelled for the day with conditions deemed un-sailable. Blue fleet will sail their two races today, then the fleets will be shuffled again with two more races in each fleet scheduled for Tuesday.
For up to date information, check out World Cup Palma website.