Day 1 from the Medcup Portugal in Portimao

9:38 AM 0 Comments

We were the first boat out sailing on day 1. We spent plenty of time sailing up and down in a very light but slowly building breeze. These are the conditions that we worked hard to improve at FYD. The changes seem to be quite good and I don’t think we lack for pace in the light. The race start was postponed a bit as the breeze stabilized enough for racing. We finally got into our sequence about an hour later than planned in a 15 knot plus wind.

We had a good start to race 1 and established a 1 or 2 boat length lead that we carried around legs 1, 2, and 3. Unfortunately the team on Puerto Calero passed us on the final run with some nice surfing. Bummer to have the race end that way after leading for 80% of the race.

Between races is full on action as you need to be pack and wool multiple spinnakers, flake headsails, rig tune, and race debrief and plan. The breeze was up a bit going into race 2 and we were pretty pressed to be ready in time for the start.
Race 2’s start saw us pushing Airis up toward the line but we were just a tad too far behind them to force their position such that they would be OCS. We ended up directly on their transom across the line and were forced to tack away to right immediately. We reached the topmark in 3rd and stayed that way until the 2nd beat where we forced a penalty on Puerto Calero in order to pass them. The altercation was tacking too close and the on the water jury penalized them immediately. Their turns put us in second, where we stayed until the finish.

The between race action was even a bit more frenzied after race 2 because the TP52’s were done for the day. Because of that our time between races was even shorter. After the full clean up we only just hoisted the jib 3 minutes before the start. Our starting position was penalized for sure as we limped off the line much slower that the boats around us. We managed to keep our heads however and turn the race into a 2nd. The breeze was up in the 3rd race to around 24 knots so we saw some nice downwind action, routinely sailing 17-20 knots is always fun.

My day was hard but fun. We were already aware that our team would be weighed at the end of the day so food and water had been very scarce during the day. Big breeze without food and water is always hard. My job on the boat as a pitman includes grinding during the hoists and gybes so there is plenty of fast paced action with and occasional rest upwind. Afterwards I was definitely dehydrated and tired. I also managed to dislocate my index finger on my left hand which makes gripping quite painful. Anyway after some food, water, and ice we’re off to do it again.

Forecast for day 2 is for a competing breeze to lighten and die around 1-2. The building breeze should be a bit later today than yesterday so maybe we won’t quite get into the solid big breeze we saw yesterday. Stand by for an update from day 2.

Patrick Shaughnessy