|ISCYRA Regatta Report|| |
Mon Aug 7th, 2006 through Sat Aug 12th, 2006
Winners Mendelblatt/Strube, photo by Daniel Forster/Rolex
| Event website|
Final results for five races at Neustadt/Holstein, Germany are below.
Report on the 6th day by Brad Nichol:
For another day we had no wind in Germany. It was the last day of the European Champs. and today we didn't even leave the dock.. So, the regatta finished with the standings the same as they have been for the last three days. In the end we finished third overall, two points out of second. We finished on a high note, winning the last race, but are slightly disappointed we were not able to get more than 5 races completed. It took us a few days to get use to sailing the Star again, but in the end we were right there, very competitive and ready to do battle. Tomorrow we will pack all of this equipment into a container to be shipped to San Francisco for the World Championship in October. After that we will fly to China for some training and the Pre-Olympics in our new boat.
Today was a disappointing day, not because we did poorly but because we did not get to sail. We spent the morning bobbing around the Baltic and then they towed us in and had us stand by for a 4:30pm harbor start. The wind never came and they finally called the racing for the day.
Tomorrow the start time was moved up by and hour in hopes of getting some sailing in. We can sail two races if there is wind but the forecast is not promising. Currently we sit in third place with 27 points. Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube (USA) are in first with 10 points and can finish no worse then second if we only get one race tomorrow. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) are in second with 25 points and need to win tomorrow to pass Mark & Mark. In fourth is Hamish Pepper (NZL) tied with us with 27 points followed by Diego Negri (ITA, 29) and Xavier Rohardt (FRA, 31).
Report on the 4th day by Brad Nichol:
Today was scheduled to be our lay day but due to a poor forecast for sailing the next two days they tried to get one in today. The wind was light and there were many big heating clouds sucking the wind off the course. The first attempt at a start (under black flag again) was 30 degrees favored to the pin end of the line. We had a great start and were able to tack onto port and cross the fleet. Unfortunately, because of the big wind shift the race was called off and we had to try again.
On the second start conditions were similar and we had another good start. We were able to work our way up the middle of the course and looked pretty good half way up the first leg but the wind died and the race was abandoned at the first mark.
Report on the 3rd day by Brad Nichol:
Day #3 of the European Champs is over and we had a great day. The boat went in the water this morning about 90% of the way to being repaired after a long night of work. Both of us are normally perfectionists with our equipment, but we were out of time. We also knew it would be another shifty day on the race course, so our boat speed would not be as important as being on the course early to figure out how the wind was behaving.
The breeze was a little lighter than yesterday, but we were still fully powered up and hiking hard. We were in the middle of the starting line for the first start. Two huge shifts came in on that leg and we were about 9th at the first mark. By the next mark we were up to 7th and held that for the next full lap. Finally up the last beat of the race the opportunity we had been patiently waiting for came in. We leveraged a little to the left of the leading pack, a good left puff came in and we punched through to finish 3rd. This another really shifty and always changing race, so we were happy with our result. Anytime the conditions are changing as much as they are at this regatta you are happy with any top 10 finish.
Time for the next race: We had another good start and went right up the middle of the course. In the beginning the left side was way ahead, then the right, then the left and finally a small right shift came in. We were right in the middle playing them all. At the first mark we made a conservative decision to round 3rd and not push too hard for the lead. We caught a few good puffs on the run and rounded the bottom mark first, but only by a boat length. We had a nice extension on the next beat and on the last down wind. When we rounded the bottom mark we were 20 lengths ahead of 2nd place.
This was a pretty nice lead, but we knew the race was far from over. The fleet split into a pack on the left side and a pack on the right side. We protected the left side for a while, but with our eye always on the right hand pack. About half way up the beat we decided to split from our pack on the left and to go get in front of the pack on the right. Just as we got to the pack on the right a huge 30 degree right shift came through. Our gamble paid off, the boats on the left side dropped out of contention and we were somehow still ahead of everyone on the right side.
The only thing you can be sure of here in Germany is that it's always changing. Luckily we were on top of it this time. We crossed the line ahead of the rest of the fleet finishing off a great day with a bullet.
Tomorrow was scheduled to be our lay day but with uncertain conditions scheduled for Friday and Saturday we are going to sail one race tomorrow afternoon at 1pm to be sure we are able to complete the series.
Report on the 2nd day by Brad Nichol:
Lots of news from the second day of the European championship. Where to begin..? It's 10:45 pm, we just finished repairing the holes in the bottom of the boat, we had two ok results and need to get to bed. SO, I'll keep this as short as possible.
Generally, when you go to a regatta you line up a training partner to tune with before the racing each day. Normally you arrange a time to meet at the race committee boat in the morning so you can sail next to each other and both get a little faster for the next race. Needless to say we met our training partner this morning..
You guessed it, with our training partner / house mates / friends.. To keep a very long story short we had a major collision before the start. The mast almost came down on their boat, they were not able to race. Our boat was also damaged pretty badly, but we were able to race both races. The bottom of our boat was ripped open all the way from the bow to the keel - from where it was sitting on top of their boat - and our jib was ripped so bad we had to cut some of it away with a knife.
Now on to the boring stuff :) The races today were crazy to say the least. We had great breeze, up to 18 knots. But we are sailing right under a shoreline so the wind is very shifty. For example, the boat that was leading the first race started at the left end of the line on port tack and laid the first mark. This is on a 2 mile leg with 80 + boats. In the end we finished ninth in that race and then had a 14th in the second race.
Today's results don't feel that great since we just spent 6 hours fixing the boat, but at the end of the day we are now tied for 7th in the regatta. SO, we are moving in the right direction and getting comfortable in the boat again.
Off to bed, then to sand the boat in the morning and to hopefully have a few more good races....
Report on the 1st day by Brad Nichol:
Eighty boats showed up for the 75th annual Star Class European Championships. So far the weather has been perfect with sunny skies, wind out of the north and water temps a refreshing 65 degrees. There was one race scheduled for the first day starting at noon and the race committee was able to keep all the boats in line on the first attempt at a start under the "Z" penalty flag (20% score penalty).
Andy and I wanted to have a conservative race and get the first one under our belts in the top ten so we started down the line under a good pack of boats. With 80 boats on the line the water was very rough but we were able to get a good start in the front row and played the left side of the course and rounded the first mark in 20th. We decided our set up was not quite right for the rough water so we made some adjustments to our mast to power the boat up and blast through the waves.
Down wind we held a low line and were able to catch up to the large pack just ahead of us and passed a few boats as we rounded the leeward mark. Up the second beat we worked the left side and were looking very good half way up the leg but could not get across to the boats on the right. Our set up changes worked well and we felt a bit faster upwind. At the second windward mark the wind got a little lighter and as we rounded the mark a few gusts of wind made big changes at the end of the lead pack of boats. A few boats escaped the chaos and were off with solid leads.
Up the last beat we tried the left side one more time because we were convinced that there was more pressure on the left side. In the end we realized that the geographic effects from the headland on the right were causing a right shift rather than bending the wind around the point to the left. We dropped a few boats and finished 19th, not what we were shooting for, but not bad in such a large and talented fleet.
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