Saturday, September 11, 2010

race no.3, a lucky first :)

Well after 6 weeks of not sailing. It was clear that all upwind legs, bar the first one have a lot of room for improvement, but overall I am pleased that I managed a first for the day (with a little help from Rod on the last leg).

Leg 01

The screen grab above is of leg 1. I was very pleased with the outcome rounding mark A in second, with a clear break already established from the rest of the fleet. My strategy for this leg was to play the shifts and as you should be able to see from the image above, I managed to achieve my goal throughout this leg, with the exception of deciding to duck under Rod on the second last tack.

Then it was off for a couple of reach/run legs and heading down to the St.Kilda end of the Lake. The diagrams below are of my two upwind legs from St.Kilda. As you should be able to see that I was not picking the lifts very well at all, with Leg 4 being the worst of the two. Rod increasing the gap significantly from me and the rest of the fleet gaining to the extent with Denny in third round mark B with me for the start of Leg 7. My analysis of Leg 4 was that I did an ok job from St.Kilda through the narrows, but once past the narrows I decided to go to the right. Looking at the tack for Leg 4, this is the place I lost a lot of ground to the rest of the fleet.  Leg 7 I did take note of my loss, once past the narrows and made some adjustments, which you should be able to see in the Leg 7 screen grab. I felt that I was able to extend the gap from the chasing fleet and I made some in-roads on Rod's lead.

Leg 04
Leg 07
This completed our last trip to St.Kilda.

Now all that was left was three small triangles to complete and I was some 200+ metres still behind Rod. As the course was laid out, this meant that we only had two more upwind legs, as the screen garbs below represent. Leg 10 for me was an improvement on my other upwind legs, minus Leg 1 of course, and I was able to close some of the gap on Rod, while extending my gap on the chasing fleet. At this point I did set myself a goal to at least catch Rod before the end of the race. I must admit that my next two reaching legs and last upwind leg went very well, with me reducing the gap from 200+ metres down to less than 50 metres and a chance to have Rod thinking about having a race on his hands, rather than a cruise to the finish.

Leg 10
Leg 13
The next reaching Leg, I managed to close the gap to an extent that I attempted (unsuccessfully) to achieve an inside overlap at the next mark, so it was now on, one mark to round and then to the finish. On the second last leg I was able to establish an inside overlap on Rod and to my benefit Rod attempted to push me up prior to the mark. The outcome for me was that I was able to come over the top of Rod, to an extent that I clearly rounded the last mark in first place. In the end I was able to maintain my lead to finish in first for Laser Full Rigs division, so I was very pleased with the outcome for the day.

Even with a lucky first, my lesson from the day is to play the shifts and get a better feel of my new boat, as I am know (based on my GPS tracks) I am missing some of the small lifts that always present themselves on the Lake.

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