Well eight races are completed and our regatta is two thirds of the way through. It was nice to get back out on the water to race and enjoy the sailing challenges.
We had our best wind for the regatta and although nowhere near the 15-20 knots forecast it was still very sailable conditions. The Aussies had a bit of a mixed bag, but the good news is we have two boats in the top ten. Jacob McConaghy and Sam Hooper lie in fifth spot and Charlie Goodfellow with Laurie Jeffs have moved to eighth. Both crews are sailing with poise and confidence and have shown the ability to pick up places when caught back in the fleet. A trait that is important in regatta success. On the promo course Peter Allen and Ollie Grieve have extended their lead out to 10 points after a dominant day. Looking good boys.
All the scores are calculated with one discard (best seven results count). After nine races are completed another discard is calculated, so the order will shuffle around after the next race.
Lake Grevelingen is proving to be an interesting place to sail. I caught up with a few European sailing mates last evening and they were telling me that it is notorious for big wind shifts and being difficult to sail. On most venues we sail at you have a wind direction which is relatively stable and when sailing you look out for the gusts which often have a slight change of direction as well as an increase in wind strength. You search for these shifts and exploit the extra strength and direction change.
I have noticed here the wind is always swinging and never really settles on a mean direction. The shifts are long and large in angle often lasting for three or four minutes and moving 20-30 degrees before shifting again. On top of this you occasionally get a few little short sharp shifts to further confuse the sailor. It is not unusual to see one side of the course dominant only to see it change back quickly. Some of our sailors are having a bit of trouble adjusting or adapting to this. On the positive side we are getting much better at trimming our boats for these conditions, most kids are reporting back they are happy with their speed. Just need to try and place our boats a bit better.
We have been out on the water every day now with no lay day and we need to sail for the last two days to get in our allotment of 12 races. No more than 3 races can be sailed per day. The sailors are getting tired and bit drained, it is important to keep a level head when racing and fatigue can lead to emotions bubbling to the surface. With the forecast today of eight knots I have no doubt the Race Committee will try and get in another 3 races as the last day looks a bit lighter again.