Thursday, December 15, 2011

Clarke & Bjorn after 8 Races at 2011 ISAF Worlds

photo by Fried Elliot

Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn continue to hold onto their top ten position. After 8 races, they remain in 8th overall. Today is a day off. From yesterday, here is the most recent post from Clarke:

Well the trend of one good race and one bad race continued today. We carded a 7 and 19 to sit 8th overall in a real dog fight for placed 5 through 12th. Everyone except the top 4 guys are struggling in the unpredictable winds, on good day can move a team up many places and the reverse is true for a bad day. We seem to be plugging along having OK races and maintaining our position, while the elevator takes our competition up and down the leader board. I talked to someone today who asked if we were just trying to qualify and I told them that I was trying hard to win this thing but that it was proving extremely difficult.

We almost saw Fremantle Doctor conditions in the first race today as winds were in the correct quadrant but a bit lighter. We had an average start that saw us looking over our shoulders a few minutes after the start for a lane out right. After patiently waiting for things to clear out we tacked and headed out to what I hoped was the favoured side. It didn't look all the good early but came together towards the end of the beat as we rounded the first mark 6th. Unfortunately we dropped a few places on the first run but managed to take them back on the second beat and found ourselves in 8th place down the final run. What should have been a straight forward affair turned into a bit of a crap shoot as the wind completely died and tried to fill in from many directions. Luckily we survived the lottery and finished 7th.

In the second race we had the unfortunate privilege of starting between 2 boats that were both over the line at the gun. Luckily we realized our predicament and dropped back far enough not to be called over but our start was severely compromised. Things went from bad to worse as the side we chose on the first beat was not correct and we rounded the first mark in the 30's. A typical Clarke/Bjorn come back saw us close distance on the leaders but we could only catch 12 boats over the course of the race for a 19th.

It will be a good battle Friday (tomorrow is a day off) for the top 10 to see who makes the medal race.

Stay tuned.