Pitchpoles, Capsizes, Wind And Waves
June 29, 2012
It was a completely new type of day at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships. The wind was from the shore ranging through 10-30kts throughout the day. We had a pretty good day ending the round 5-2 in a three-way tie. We tied with our US teammates, Team Barkow, and Team Audi Match Race (FIN) who won the round after the ties were broken. The fourth semi finalist is Team Leroy (FRA).
The day started in the lighter range (10-20kt) in the wind, but throwing 30 degree shifts at us making the racing always exciting, and very difficult. We had four races before a short lunch break and a boat rotation. After lunch the wind increased to the 20-30kt range and racing got quite exciting (understatement), especially downwind.
Our closest race was against Team Leroy this afternoon. In the pre-start she earned a penalty for a port/starboard. Off the line, we were able to hold to windward of her on starboard tack almost all the wayout to the layline. As we approached the port layline, the windshifts got much bigger and the increases between the puffs and lulls were getting more and more extreme. We eventually had to tack off from her and sail with her on our hip for the long port tack back up the course. At the top, she was on layline and we were just shy, so we had to tack up. We were able to just get a piece of her stern forcing her to tack away from the mark as we tacked towards it. Downwind, she got a puff and rolled right up to us. We made a mistake and didn't gybe soon enough for a puff and she was able to get inside us at the mark and round ahead.
Upwind she was inside of us on a left shift and gained enough distance to be able to spin her penalty just after the top mark. As she exited her penalty turn, we were one length behind her on opposite gybes, us on port, her on starboard. We both set our kites, but hers went up with a twist in it. This allowed us to close the gap and gybed to position ourselves for our move downwind. We sailed to leeward of her and held there for the whole downwind leg. Towards the bottom, as we were approaching the layline for the pin, we made it look as though we were about to gybe, and she gybed to port. We forced her to gybe back and as she did, we gybed to the finish to take the win.
The racing was very close all around the course in all matches, with the smallest mistakes costing teams the point. Towards the windiest part of the day, there were two teams that pitchpoled then capsized their Elliotts because of the intensity of the puffs that were hitting the boats.
The final day of racing is tomorrow with the semi finals starting off the day. Team Lehtinen will choose her opponent in the first to three point semi finals. The forecast for tomorrow is for slightly less wind from the same direction, so racing will be just as fun and challenging.
We would very much like to thank our Title Sponsor, Maclaren, our Gold Level Sponsors 11th Hour Racingand Laser Performance, and our Bronze Level Sponsors Carmeuse, Trinity Yachts, Chicago Match Race Center, and Sperry Top-Siderfor their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games. We would also like to thank St Francis Sailing Foundation, CISA and SDYC Sailing Foundation, and US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and its sponsors for their continued support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable to Sailing Foundation of New York, in the memo write 'Anna Tunnicliffe' and send to Sailing Foundation of New York (this one is tax deductible); or to Anna Tunnicliffe (via PayPal). (Please follow the links for more information. Thank you.)
And as usual, don't forget, email us your questions and comments. We love getting them and sharing our love of sailing and women's match racing.