Anna Tunnicliffe: Tough racing but Alinghi defends lead in Qingdao

Alinghi - Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series 2014, Qingdao.
© Lloyd Images
These days, twice Rolex Sailor of the Year and Olympic Gold medalist, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) alternates between sailing aboard Alinghi in the Extreme Sailing Series, and chasing a serious ranking in the world of CrossFit.

She reports in from Qingdao, China after Day 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series, sailing as tactician aboard Alinghi. In 2008, she won a Gold Medal in the Laser Radial class at the Qingdao Olympics, now she returns.

May 3, 2014, Qingdao, China

May 3, 2014
Qingdao, China

Anna Tunnicliffe leaps for her coach just after winning the Gold Medal in Qingdao
'Well, today was tricky!' the most quoted phrase on the dock after racing today. The breezy forecast didn't materialise which made for extremely challenging conditions on the water for this afternoon's racing. Despite sailing what didn't feel like a great day, we managed to hang on to most of our lead at the top of the board with a bit of shuffling going on right behind us heading into the last day of racing tomorrow.

This morning, we were all pretty excited to see the wind build into the mid teens for some great stadium racing. It was forecasted to be from the southerly direction, which meant that it wouldn't be too shifty and even though we would get some waves from the bay, it would be manageable because we would have the wind to drive us through them.

Well, we did get the waves, but not the expected breeze. It never really made it above 12kts at the windiest part of the afternoon. I think it's fair to say that offshore, it was quite windy as we could see the white caps on the waves out there and the size of the swell that was coming in definitely suggested that there was something out there pushing the water in. So we were left with big waves, lots of chop and winds about 5-12kts.

The Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series 2014. Act 3. Qingdao. China Credit - Lloyd Images
© Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series
The racing was very hard. The type of day that makes you feel very frustrated at times. The races started today with reaching starts to a short leg then downwind. Back upwind, then back to the leeward mark gates then up to a different windward mark farther upwind, then a reach to the finish line.

Throughout the day the favoured side of the course changed; the wind kept shifting back and forth. And because the chop built on one side of the course, sometimes it was definitely not the side to go even when 'favoured' and sometimes it made you look like a hero.

Overall, we averaged about a 5.8th place, which was good enough for the day, but not great, as the best team of the day, RealTeam averaged a 4.3rd and moved up from 4th to 2nd overall on the leaderboard.

Tomorrow is again calling for big breeze, and again back from the north west direction, meaning it will be blowing through the city buildings. We will wait to see what we wake up to though, before we can really make the call on what's going to happen with the wind. Tomorrow will be the last day of racing for this Act. The racing will be tight and close with the final race counting for double points (if all goes normally tomorrow).

Latest race updates and news can be found on the Extreme Sailing Series website: http://www.extremesailingseries.com

Sail Hard,

Anna

4D's: Dream;Desire;Dedication;Determination SM
3P's: Passion...Progression…Perfection SM

You can follow Anna on her blog www.annatunnicliffe.com

The Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series 2014. Act 3. Qingdao. China Credit - Lloyd Images
© Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series

The Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series 2014. Act 3. Qingdao. China Credit - Lloyd Images
© Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series
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