After several nice summery days here in Weymouth, it was back to good old UK weather! I woke up to the heavy rain several times this past night...and sure enough, this morning was no better. My races were scheduled for 2pm and luckily by that time the front passed, it was beautiful and sunny with some breeze.
For the entire time of my pre-race warm-up/getting dialed in, it was fully planing, but then just at the start the wind died quite a bit and we ended starting with our daggerboard down in railing mode. I did not have a great start, I was too close to others - both from above and below and quickly got rolled. I had planned on going left up the first beat - so decided when the breeze came up a bit again to go planing. I was soon in clear air and with some good speed and height, I was passing boards. I tacked just shy of the port layline and it looked to me that I was in the lead...until about 3/4 up the track when the wind went a bit right and the boards that went right were coming in hot. Needless to say, I did not round first nor did I round in the first 10. I battled the rest of the race and with a few smart calls up the second upwind, I worked myself up to 7th.
Race Two: Everyone had figured out that the right side of the course was favoured by this point and thus 3/4's of the fleet started on port (heading to the right side). I started on port as well - but once again was too close to the boards below me and lost my ability to sail high and low working the waves. Dirty air is never good and thus I decided to foot off (sail lower than those around me) which in turn had me sailing through them to leeward. The leaders were gone at this point (they had great starts with clean lanes) and I just had to try to catch up as much as I could. Bit by bit I took boards down and by the third upwind mark I was in 3rd. On the last downwind the wind lightened off a bit, I didn't gybe in the proper spot missing a gust, then got dirty air from the boards behind/on top of me, and I had trouble staying on a plane. Then one of my battens broke during a gybe which kept me from planing out of my gybe, I wallowed a bit while the others planed past me from both sides...ARGH!!! So, 200m from the finish I went from 3rd to 8th. Definitely disappointing and some lessons to be learned from that....I must fight to plane no matter what!!!
I sit in 8th at the moment. Many more races to go...
And attached is a picture of me getting my sail all stickered up....GO CANADA!!! no mistaking what country I represent :)