Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kiel Day 1

Well I guess that counts as a successful launch. The boat hit the water for the first time this morning, and then I managed to win all three races today. Quite happy with that really.

It was a windy day here in Keil, but the sun was out. Off the land it was gusty and shifty. Not exactly what I wanted for launch day. And to make matters worse we had three races scheduled as the forecast for Mon and Tues is really bad. So much for a chilled first day possibly using up my discards while I got sorted.

The first race was breezy with gusts in the high 20's on the committee boat apparently but some pretty light patches thrown in for fun. The average pressure slowly dropped during the day and the last race was almost marginal foiling.

Race one: Mark Robinson and I tried to port tack the fleet - Mark made it, I took a few transoms, but I got round him to lead round the first mark. He then managed to rip his rudder foil off his Bladerider, and had great fun trying to sail back to collect it! Gary Ireson then took up the challenge for the lead. He got passed me for a lap or so before pitchpoling on the top reach to hand me the gun.

Race two: I'd tweaked a few settings and was happier with my set-up for this one, with just a little bit on the main cable she was much happier upwind, and we launched off the start to lead round the top again and sail away from the fleet. I'm afraid I don't know what happened behind, as we managed to extended quite early and then lost sight of most people amongst the Europes and lapped boats.

Race three: Mr Robinson was back out and we thought we'd play at the Port end again. Not so pretty this time and we ducked the fleet and sailed into the right while the leaders came out of the left. I got round in third and chased down the two German Bladeriders ahead. I took out the first on the top reach, and halved the distance to the leader on the bottom reach, to then get passed up the second beat. I managed to extend nicely on the run and get away to a nice little lead. Sven Kloppenburg came through the fleet well to get passed Mark for second, which puts him in second overall.

All in all pretty happy with day one in the new ship.

In other news here, Alex Knight almost managed a great foiling tack but seemed to be ejected from the boat mid turn, which unfortunately his tiller didn't survive. Team Estonia didn't have a great day in their new Bladerider either, with a broken main foil. I think another has been sourced though as I spotted a bit of evening training going on.

Better dash, and catch up with sleep following a tiring build followed by drive.

With swift German efficiency the results are on:

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