Saturday, 21 July 2012

Team Racing

Unlike a lot of other teams, we had deliberately chosen not to do any training for the team-racing. Instead spending our time on maximising our preparations for the fleet racing, because we have significantly less time to train together as a team prior to the event, and the fleet racing competition is our priority.

The format of the competition was essentially a knockout based on seedings from the fleet racing results. With each team eliminated once they had lost two races.

We launched in slightly overcast weather, and as a result very little wind. However, shortly before the scheduled start time of 11, the sky cleared and a 7-8kt sea-breeze filled in.

Because of our lack of training, the coach had given the team some very simple priorities to focus. Get yourself of the line. Sail fast, and then focus on the only 2 simple winning combinations (three boats in the top 4 places, or the opposition in 7th and 8th).

Our first race was against Korea. The race was very close, but unfortunately our lack of preparation meant that the team struggled to follow their priorities at the key moment and lost the race by 2 points in a very tight finish.

This meant that the next race was against Russia. After some faster sailing, good teamwork and clear communication, the team were able to secure a safe victory with 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places.

This meant that we were then racing Mexico (who, in their previous race had narrowly lost to the favourites Singapore.) The loser of this race would be out, with the winner staying in the competition.

At the last mark the team were narrowly in the lead (3,4,5,6, combo), but after some good work by Jamie, and Max and Martin recognising the need to simply sail fast, they all sailed a very good second beat to win 1,2,3,4!

This meant that we went through to a race with Sweden (one of the teams who have been practicing). The winner would go through to the last 16, with the loser going into the "pool" where 1 of 8 teams would progress through to the last 16 based on the lowest points from the previous race.

After a poor start Sweden were comfortably in the lead at mark 1. However some good slowing by Max and Milo meant that at mark 3, we were in a tight leading position with Sweden in 7th and 8th. However, after some good work by the well drilled swedes, and a couple of penalties, we ended up losing the race.

Unfortunately, Germany were the team that had the best points, so the team did not progress from the "pool", and into the last 16 racing tomorrow.

However, more importantly, this is quite possibly a blessing in disguise as the team will now get a "rest day" before Monday when the spare day will be used to catch up with fleet races missed earlier in the week.

Carla went out on the water with the USA team parents and  the team sailed across  while Milo and Tim swam over for cold drink


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