Cayard at the Bacardi Cup

"John Vandermullen went by us downwind like we were in a Snipe."

Wednesday March 11th 2009, Author: Paul Cayard, Location: United Kingdom
It is still sunny and 80 degrees. The wind blew a bit harder today 8-12 knots from the southeast.

There was a general recall and then a black flag start. When the black flag is up, if you go over the start line early you are disqualified. This has the effect of backing people off the line. You can get a real good start if you are confident of your line sight in a black flag start. We had a good line sight, but ended up not using it. We started at the pin end of the line with a bias of 10 degrees. Peter Bromby was just to windward of us. He tacked to port to cross the fleet, we followed. About 5 minutes into the race, Bromby/Liljedahl and ourselves had a 100 meter lead on the third place boat.

Ok, so we had an awesome start. That is about where it ended for us. We were noticeably slower than Bromby upwind and in fact we made some errors with our tactics, so we rounded the first mark 4th. We then proceeded to go slow downwind and rounded the leeward gate about 10th. Bromby was first followed by the Irish team, then John Vandermullen who is now in second place in the regatta.

We made an adjustment to our rig downwind and went better up the second windward leg going from 10th to third. Then down the run we went slow for some reason, also a tactical mistake and we finished 5th. Kind of frustrating to end on a backwards move. The last few days we have been doing the passing on the last leg.

Anyway, big picture is that we have bettered finishing position each day and are now in 3rd place over all.

John Vandermullen is very fast, especially downwind. He is using a new boat called a 'P-Star' built by Marc Pickel of Germany. This boat seems to be real fast. John must be sailing well too, but he did go by us downwind like we were in a Snipe.

Peter Bromby and Magnus Liljedahl pretty much have the regatta sewn up as they have a 2,2,1 score line and for the first race they will get the average of race 2-5 for their score.

Two races to go and we have to keep improving. Today was really the day that I could feel the rust of not being in the class for 4 years. When you start, sail for 30 second and then tack and cross the fleet by 100 meters, you should never see anyone. The fact that we got swallowed up by the pack is testament to the rust. As it should be! If that did not happen, the Star class would not be the class that it is. Winning in this class has always meant excellence.

Tomorrow's forecast is about the same as today; 8-12 knots from the southeast with more sun.

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