Hello everyone. Our first day of sailing is over, we are underway!
Overall it was a very solid day for Australia, finishing with four boats in the top 10 (albeit briefly, more on that later).
The weather was always going to be a bit marginal after the big storm came through.
Surprisingly it was quite a healthy breeze in the morning and a cooler day. But as soon as code flag P (the blue peter) was raised to commence racing, it began to go fickle with the temperature increasing. However we were able to complete two races in sailable conditions (the second a shortened course) before the race committee decided enough for the day.
The results were very encouraging for our team. The first race most were well back but fought their way through well. The second was a far more consistent effort from the outset.
Sam Hooper and Jacob McConaghy (I am listing the crews first today as an acknowledgment of the significant role that these little Aussie tyros play) had a good day at the office. A comprehensive heat win in race two sees them in fourth place overall, bravo Hurricane.
Cait McCoy and Elliot Hughes in Anaconda had two solid races and as a result are sitting in sixth place. Great going guys.
Ash Rawstron and Pete Allen had similar results, including a great fight back in the first race and now sit in seventh.
James Gough and Archer Ibbott are in 10th place, but will slide down the board after being the recipient of a 30 per cent penalty after a protest last evening. It was a port and starboard rule with Little Devil being adjudicated against. Arch was adamant he had a clear cross but rightly the Jury will always defer to the right of way boat. We were able to attend an arbitration hearing and accept the penalty rather than a full protest and risk a disqualification.
Luca Grove and Jack Allison and Ollie Grieve and Emma Kelly are placed 20th and 21st overall in conditions that did not suit them. They have improved enormously in light airs over the last six months and I am confident will continue to do so in the short term future.
Grace Cooper and Hugo Alison were the hard luck story and had a great day which would have seen them high on the scoreboard. A premature start on a black flag (the black flag simply means you rescind your rights to return and start correctly) meant an instant disqualification.
But in a regatta you get the opportunity to discard your worst results, after five races you can discard one and after nine races completed you can drop a second race. So all is not lost but the crews of Ikon 10 and Little Devil need to tread a little warily for a while until that discard comes into play.
Looking ahead the weather looks light and variable over the next few days, the team is in good spirits and looking forward to more challenges.