I’ve been home now for a few days, and its time to do a review of the Miami World Cup!
It was overall a great regatta, even though I finished 10 places lower overall than last year (50th). We had pretty interesting and non-typical Miami conditions for quite a few days as well, which was cool. They had a new racing schedule for us, alternating with the Laser Standard rigs on the same race course, with each fleet either scheduled for a 12:30pm start or a 2:30pm start. While this sounds pretty luxurious, we actually ended up never having racing start on schedule the whole week and each day had an amendment for a new start time, which made things pretty hectic and hard to plan.
On the first day the girls were scheduled for the later start time, so we had the whole morning to get ready for racing. It was a hot day with very light winds, and while the boys managed to get two marginal races done with their earlier start time, we ended up waiting on shore postponed and were eventually cancelled altogether, without having gone on the water. So we started the regatta with a day of no racing and 2 races behind schedule, which would cause us to try and play catch up for the rest of the week.
On day two they moved our start time a little earlier. We ended up with three races in a light (4-6 knots) north easterly, which was pretty shifty and influenced by clouds and land on both sides of the race course, making it pretty hard to predict. I didn’t have the greatest starts on top of that, so it made for a tough day. To give you an idea of how mixed up the fleet was and how hard it was to get the strategy right, Allison Young (GBR) who ended up winning the regatta, had a 3, 51, 52 that day.
On day three some new weather rolled in and it got windy! Miami is almost always light to medium breeze, but for this day and the rest of the week we had winds in the high twenties at least! We were the later start and got two races in this afternoon before it actually got too windy and the race committee started to have safety concerns. The last race was pretty hilarious, with lots of people capsizing all over the race course, upwind and downwind. Getting the gybe in at the last gate mark to go to the finish was harrowing, but a great opportunity to pass people if you could stay upright!
Day four saw the wind increase even more, and we actually never got out racing because wind speeds were too high all day (30-35 knots). There is a World Sailing rule that they will not start races in winds over 25 knots, and while I think we raced in more than that the day before, they didn’t want to launch us in 30 knots. This rule is being contested at the moment amongst the sailors, because quite a few people were disappointed to miss a whole day of racing, especially at a World Cup regatta where all of the sailors are quite competent.
The last day of racing it was still windy (18-25 knots) and a little more easterly. We got three big races in that day which ended up being really great. I was over early in the first race (check out Al Clark’s video on facebook, its pretty obvious!) but had two great starts in the other races, and overall did really well in the breeze. While I am still not the fastest girl out there in wind, as I have gotten stronger this fall I have also gotten a lot faster in heavy wind. It reminds me to trust the process and keep working hard, because one day I will have legs like Marit Bouwmeester and will fly upwind in breeze!
I am happy to be home now. I will be training and working in Victoria for all of February, and then have some travel again later in March. I plan to keep with the (sort of) weekly blog updates, so there will be some training blogs and what not in the next few weeks.
Thanks for reading!