An interesting first day at the Starling Nationals here at Worser Bay Boating Club, with all the wind and the lulls providing a lot of variables with the racing. In the morning they sent us out late because of delays due to high winds but once we got out there it was still howling with boats capsizing, people falling out of boats and boats losing masts. We got sent ashore and waited almost 3 hours before getting back on the water in blustery conditions from 10-26 knots. The fleets had been split in half and I was placed into the yellow flight.
Race 1 was a big shake-up to the realization of how slow a starling is even in wind compared to other boats I’m sailing and I would have to change my thinking very promptly and get into a competitive ‘starling’ mode. After having an average first beat and rounding in the top group and gybed on the front of a pressure, putting to much roll for the gybe and scooped up 1/3 of a boat of water which almost stopped me when it happened. I frantically bailed the boat and then got my head back into catching up. I sailed a good second beat, picking some nice shifts and closing in on the front bunch but that was not enough to get in front of them all to punch into the top 5, finishing 7th.
Race 2 I knew I had to get a top 5 otherwise my regatta was on the back foot considering the boat to beat was sailing comprehensively up the front in my flight. I hung in on the first beat again and then played the puffs downwind sailing through half of the front group into 2nd or 3rd at the bottom. Finding the pressure on the upwind was an almost a winning when I climbed back to the leader but some spinning breeze stopped my charge and with huge oscillations boats started to converge on the front group and unfortunately I didn’t cover two boats hard enough and they got their bows ahead of me on the line. Ending up with a 4th placed me on 11 points in the 3rd position of yellow fleet.
Today’s looking really windy again, forecasted more than yesterday so let’s hope they can get some racing in.