Last weekend was the Wakatere Junior regatta, this is a two-day regatta and was great practice for O’pen Bic Worlds, which is coming around so quickly at the end of December and through to the beginning of January. I had my moments where I looked excellent on the course, sailing with a flatboat and thinking about the conditions I was sailing in, but I lacked confidence.
When you sail out of Wakatere, there is a strong tide and current that changes through the day. The wind was moderate to light on the first day, and then the wind kicked in a bit more on Sunday, which made it lots of fun to sail given the wind could do anything at Worlds.
On Saturday they had four races scheduled and racing it didn’t start until 1.30pm. The course was a trapezoid, so I knew they were going to be short races. In race 1 I had good fore and aft trim for the conditions, which meant my boat wasn’t nose-diving nor popping a wheelie either, and my boat wasn’t heeled too far to each side, but my boat still seemed to be slower, and I could point my boat as high as my competitors. On the 2nd race of the regatta I didn’t notice the change of the marks, so I had to fight the tide on the reach and downwind which didn’t help, but I crawled back some places and finished 7th. I had great fast, clean starts through the rest of the day and I started thinking about how the tide was affecting my boat. I had an 8, 7, 14 and an 11 in the four races that day.
On Sunday they had five races planned earlier in the day. They were all different in the fact that you had to do something distinct in each race or the course was completely different, they also said on the notice of race that there would be Le Mans starts, which are starts of the beach. For the first race, it was a beach start, and it was a race out to the start line. I had an alright start of the beach. I think I could have done better, I had good trim and was pushed down with the tide which helped me a lot considering I was pointing higher than the rest of the fleet. I rounded the top mark 7th. On the reach one boat overtook me, and on the last downwind another competitor rode a wave and caught up to the back of my boat. The nose of his boat ran on top of mine, and because of the way that happened I couldn’t steer and I ended up capsizing and coming 17.5, and we then had the races which on the reaches we had to either stand up, capsize, or do a 360 turn. I had a 5th 11th and 6th on those races. For the last race of the day, it was a long distance race which started again as a Le Mans start out to a cable mark which would be a reach and then a long sail upwind. I had a fantastic start going to the first yellow mark before heading to the cable mark. I round the first mark 4th, and by the time I turned the cable mark, I was 3rd. I made another place up making me second at the beginning of the upwind. I was out energy about 3/4 of the way through the upwind, and a gust of wind came, and I couldn’t flatten the boat. I capsized and slowly lost places and ended up finishing 7th for the race.
Overall I finished 8th and 2nd girl. After doing this regatta, I know now a lot more of the weaknesses that I needed to quickly fix before the Worlds at the end of the year.