Today marked the official start of the F18 World Championships in Long Beach California. When everyone launched this morning, it was cold, foggy and kind of ere. As all 113 boats sailed out to the race course, the wind was coming from south east, or about 90 degrees to the left of where it should come out of to get the usual Long Beach sea breeze. The race committee tried to get off a race in the little breeze that we had in heavy fog at their projected start time of 12 o’clock. At about 3 minutes to the start of the first flight, the winds shifted 90 degrees to the right (or regular sea breeze direction) and picked up slightly. The race committee quickly stopped the race and reset the course, draining about 1 hour of the day.
When it was finally time to start, I was working with Blair on getting to the line and being aggressive, which he did very well. we worked hard on gaining back the little amount of boats that we had lost at the start, but due to his jerky movements upwind and our in ability to get to the right side of the course fast enough, we ended up only 37th in the race.
The second race was terrible for us after having an amazing start, but having to crash tack in front of a group of boats and loosing our speed. After that and other small boat speed mistakes upwind, we had a blow out race with a 51st.
Blair and I switched positions for the last race and managed to nail the start, just like the other 2 races. We had gotten the time 1 minute off however, making it seem that the 1 minute gun was the start gun. I managed to get into another strong starting position further down the line after that small mistake, still getting us into the front row for the start. By the time we made it onto the reach, we were in around 15th, but we had issues keeping up the spinnaker up, since every time Blair would come out on the wire, it would fall down again. Finally, after the third time of it happening he wrapped it around the bracket and got clipped in to the trap again. At this point we had slipped back into around 20th, and I was starting to get antsy and really wanted to get a move on things. Just as he started to go out on the wire, he flipped off the side of the boat and into the water. Luckily he was still holding on, and managed to get back onto the boat, but by the time he got back on, we had fallen into 40th. It was a hard truth to swallow, but we did our best to make back boats and pulled into 35th for the last race.
I am learning a ton about working with a partner on a double-handed boat and this experience is already making me a better sailor! Sailing is expensive. Please ask your company to support my campaign.