Team Canada has had two productive days training in the DS37s and Match 28s to be sailed at Nations Cup starting tomorrow. As the number of Open teams is thirteen, the Organizing Authority has had to split the field into two groups and two classes of boats.
Team Canada - ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final 2013
We arrived in Middelfart mid-afternoon yesterday and immediately went out in the 37 to train. After a full day of travel it felt good to get out on the boat and get loose. The breeze was up, as it was today, which left no room for mistakes. While many crews struggled with the larger boats, our experience in the Oakcliff SM40s proved invaluable. The team adapted well to the boats and it wasn't long before we were comfortable with our tacks, gybes, sets and douses.
Today, after weigh-in where we were exactly at max allowable weight (spot on - not even a 10th of a kilo to spare), we spent the morning in the 28 and the afternoon in the 37. The wind was up even more than yesterday and strong boat handling was rewarded.
We spent a good deal of time today practising dial ups and the crew did an amazing job in the very puffy and shifty conditions never once loosing the bow and always able to get the boat backing down in control until we determined whether to fall off onto starboard or port. As those of you who have match raced know, this is very difficult at the best of times and a skill that creates opportunity in the pre-start - so this was a large confidence booster. And to be able to do it in really breezy conditions in boats we haven't sailed is a testament to the quality of our team and a real, real positive.
We did a couple of prestarts with the Australians and a practise race where we came into close quarters downwind, had a little luff in pressure and gybed away to a strong lead as they lost control for a brief moment. As many of you know the Aussies are solid to say the least and to be able to boat handle with them in the breeze was a good look for Team Canada.
Racing starts tomorrow and we need to finish in the top four of six after Wed and Thurs to advance. We have the ability to do so and all that's left to do is to execute. I know we can and I am very confident in our team.
The team would like to sincerely thank those from RCYC and elsewhere who are supporting us in our Nations Cup effort.