Medal Race Day
Today was the medal race for the Lasers at the Miami OCR. The top ten boats competed in one final race; the points were worth double and the course was shorter, only about 30 minutes in length. There was a lot on the line with Bruno Fontes (BRA) and Paul Goodison (GBR) tied for first. Canadians Dave Wright and Chris Dold were also battling for their Olympic berth.
Our race was scheduled to start at 11:40, but we didn't start until about 12:15 because the breeze was very light. We had maybe 2-4 knots for the race and flat water. I liked the left side of the course and the pin. I ended up starting three up from the pin with Julio Alsogaray (ARG) and Chris Dold below me. Bruno and Paul weren't match racing as much as I anticipated. Paul had a better start than Bruno in the middle and they tacked a few times after the start before Paul established a decent lead. He continued throughout the race with a very comfortable margin over Bruno to win the regatta.
After the start, Rasmus Myrgren (SWE), Jesper Stalheim (SWE), and Marco Gallo (ITA) tacked from the boat and went to the right side of the course. They had much less breeze though and fell pretty far back. They ended up in 8-9-10 for the entire race.
I sailed off the line in some nice pressure and played the middle left. At the top, Charlie Buckingham, the other American in the medal race, was winning just in front of Julio, me, and then Goodison. Dave and Chris were just behind us.
On the first downwind, Charlie extended a little and Julio got yellow flagged for rocking. I moved into 2nd at the bottom. On the next beat, I lost Goodison when he got some pressure to the left of me. Charlie won the race, Goodison took second, and I finished third. The Canadians were just behind me, but Dave beat Chris and was able to maintain his regatta cushion to qualify for the Olympics.
So with a 3rd in the race, I was able to move up to 5th overall. I'm very happy with how I sailed this week, sailing consistently and making good decisions for the most part. We were fortunate to have some of the best conditions I've ever seen in Miami with nice medium breeze, sun, warm temperatures, and efficient RC work all week long. It was a lot of fun to come down here and sail again, and I enjoyed getting back in the boat after Perth.