Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bacardi Cup 2010 Concludes

Wow, check this out. Canadians Richard Clarke and Bjorn Tyler have had a very rewarding regatta! They took 5th overall, and 2nd in the last race which was held in heavy, gear-busting winds.

Star Class - final results (top 5 of 84)
1. Rick Merriman/ Phil Trinter, USA,
4-2-(23)-2-1, 9
2. Peter O'Leary/ Stephen Milne, IRL,
(15)-10-1-3-3, 17
3. Andy Horton/ James Lyne, USA.
(8)-5-4-6-5, 20 pts
4. Richard Clarke/ Tyler Bjorn, CAN,
(85/BFD)-7-7-5-2, 21
5. Diego Negri/ Nando Colaninno, ITA,
13-(20)-12-1-6, 32

Here are the final installments from Alain. Thanks Philippe for passing them on! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing.

Saturday March 13, 2010
Day 6 – Course 1 WNW, 15-20 knots

With the postponement from yesterday (turns out there was a tornado warning. How cool is that!!) there is now 2 races scheduled with the start of the first one at 10:30. This meant an early exit from the condo, and off to the yacht club to put the boat in the water for 9:00. Quick stop at Starbucks for the caffeine fix, and we were ready (as a side note, I’m starting to get a bit creeped out about the people hanging out at Starbucks…triple this, double that, extra stuff…some of those coffees look like something from Dairy Queen…but that’s for another report). Our quick scan at weather reports was calling for a lovely day on the water. 9-13 knots, with sunny skies. As we got to the YC we noticed that they got half of that story right. It was somewhat sunny, but the wind was kicking a little stronger than 13. We made it out in time to the race course, basically on a reaching surf two thirds of the time, which usually mean winds over 15. As the starting time was getting closer, we were getting solid puffs in the low 20s. That’s usually the wind speed when the short masts make their appearance. Sure enough, maybe 5 minutes before warning we saw a mast bent in half hanging over the bow of a boat. If my count is right, the total of the day was four broken masts.

The RC did not want to waste any time and put up the black flag on the first attempt. While myself and André were discussing strategy (or maybe we were discussing the talent we saw by the pool at the Delano, I’m not sure…) on the windward side of the RC, we missed the big left shift that suddenly made the pin end of the line look pretty sweet. We headed in that direction as best as we could but when the start gun went off, we didn’t quite make it to the middle line mark. After a reasonably clean start, we started our way up the course and rounded in the cheap seats. We made it around an ugly triangle (again, not impressed with the RC work), i.e. one leg too high and the other too low and decided that this was not quite the conditions we would excel in, and pointed the boat in the direction of the YC, which at that point was about 3.5 miles from the start line. Considering that our chances of winning this regatta were slim, and facing a 30 hour drive back to Montreal in time for work on Monday, we opted to go in early and pack up the boat for an early start on the road. As it turns out the RC decided to cancel the last race and sent everybody in to the YC after the first race.

By the time the boat was packed up and ready to go it was 14:30, and off we went.

Final thoughts…

So there you go, another Bacardi Cup under our belts. Driving back, André got an e-mail from the organizers announcing the winner for this year, Rick Merriman with crew Phil Trinter. Rick is from what I understand a Corinthian sailor, which means there’s hope for all of us. You don’t need to be a pro or an Olympic campaigner to win in this class. I would feel a whole lot better though knowing how to get from the back of the bus to the front, or even mid-fleet for that matter. But, even in the cheap seats, it’s still a pretty cool boat to sail. No big lessons at this regatta apart from realizing that there is no short cuts to performing in this class. The little 45 minute club races won’t get you anywhere close to being a contender in the STAR. You need to race in big fleets again and again, and maybe move your mast butt every once in a while…

Big Daddy out…