Great Start to the Laser Worlds
Today was the first day of the Laser World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We had two long races in anywhere from 14-18 knots. I was in the yellow fleet and started first, sailing an outer loop.
After four general recalls, we got our first start off. I had a pretty good start about 1/4 of the way up from the pin. I sailed on starboard for a few minutes, and after a while, I was able to tack and cross most of the fleet. I played the middle left for the rest of the leg and was looking like I'd be in about top three. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and Matt Coutts (NZL) crossed behind me and went to the port layline where they got a nice lift into the mark. At the mark, I was in 5th place behind Roelof Bouwmeester (NED), Pavlos, Tobias Schadewalt (GER), and Matt. I closed a little distance on the reach and was able to pass Tobias on the first downwind. On the second beat, I played the left again and passed Matt and closed the distance on the two leaders. I was third at the top mark and held on to beat two Croatians who were making a late race rally. After the finish, the Race Committee had a board with the OCS boats and Roelof was over the line. So I moved up to 2nd in the race. A great start to the regatta!
The second race was pretty similar. I had another good start near the pin and was able to hold my lane well and lift off some guys to leeward of me. Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Matias del Solar (CHI) had an awesome start at the pin and, after a few minutes of sailing, tacked and crossed. I ducked behind and tacked on their hip. We sailed for a bit and the two of them tacked again, crossed me, and protected the left. We had a LONG port tack grind into the weather mark and I was able to punch out on those guys a little. At the mark, Tonci rounded just in front of me and Matias directly behind. Tobias, the German from the first race, and Javier Hernandez (ESP) were also in the mix. On the reach, Matias went a little high and brought some pressure down over me. I rounded the reach mark in 3rd. On the downwind, Tobias went higher, and Matias and I sailed down the middle. Tobias passed the two of us, and I managed to get back in front of Matias. I rounded the leeward mark in 3rd and the race immediately turned into a sprint to the left. The top two guys put some distance on me, and I was able to put some distance on the guys behind me. I rounded the weather mark in 3rd and remained there for the rest of the race.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with my first day. I had a 2-3 and am certainly in the mix. The regatta is only just starting, so with 12 more races it's going to be important to just keep the consistency up.
Tomorrow we're scheduled to have three races. The RC moved the start time up one hour and will try to bang off an extra race in anticipation of Hurricane Bill hitting Nova Scotia this weekend. It could be a smart call.
Results are located here.