Much thanks to Jen Davey who got this shot of us after popping the chute.
It was a very light air day at the Shark World Championship today. Nevertheless, the Race Committee got off two races, thanks to the breeze holding up till till early afternoon. Our team on Ambitious had a great first race where we managed to sail closer to the front of the fleet for a change. While I still do not manage to get good starts, we were able to tack away from the fleet pretty quickly, and find our own clear lane of undisturbed breeze. All too often, I find myself sticking to the less traveled port layline to the mark. It is nice and fast until you hit the thick groups of leaders coming around the offset and popping chutes, or boats coming upwind into the mark on starboard with the right of way. Then it gets pretty hairy. On this occasion, we were on the port layline with Paul Davis and Heavy Fuel just ahead and to leeward. It still makes me smile to recall Paul taking a double-take, wondering what that backpacker was doing beside him, and probably whether he was doing worse than he thought! We held onto our great position through the race, and finished 19th out of the 54 boats, a very good score for us.
It would not be a championship without some mishaps of the best teams taking it on the chin while letting it all hang out. We passed the regatta leaders, Crazy Ivan while they were doing penalty spins right after rounding the top mark. Then we heard a significant BONK noise somewhere in the vicinity of Gran Blan. Back on shore, the results showed Blue Shark got a DSQ for some reason. We had our own special type of mishap in the day's second race. Right after the start, the cannon fired two blasts, indicating a general recall. We stopped racing, but little did we know, the Race Committee was simultaneously calling "All Clear!" over the radio. It was a misfire. The race was on! We spent the whole 2nd race playing catch up, which we did well, picking our way through about 12 boats. Still, that ate away at our overall result which had improved.
The wind held up enough to just barely get all of us over the finish line. Two more races in and this day is done. Next, Thursdays Distance Race.
Results Thus Far