Skandia Sail for Gold day five success for Team Maclaren

Team Maclaren at Skandia Sail for Gold 2011
© Clive Mason
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011's day five was a long day of sailing, but turned out to be successful for Team Maclaren as they are now advancing into tomorrow's finals against GBR's Lucy Macgregor and team. Anna Tunnicliffe of Team Maclaren shares a recap of the day's action.

Team Maclaren finishing 3-0 in the quarterfinals during the morning's racing against France's Anne Claire Le Berre and went on to defeat France's Claire Leroy 3-1 to secure a spot in the finals.

Racing was scheduled to start at 10am. Winds seven to nine knots and sunny skies. The wind slowly settled in around 10:30 and racing got underway quickly after that. Our first three races were sailed in about 8-10 kts and flat water. There were small 10 degree shifts around the race course and pressure differences that made big differences in the racing.

Our closest race in the morning's quarter finals was the second race of the series. We had been planning on starting to the left of Le Berre, but called the switch to the right half way through the pre-start, which ended up not being such a good move as we had hoped. We were behind off the line but managed to keep it close upwind so we could continue to play for the rest of the race.

Downwind, we caught right up to her and on the second upwind, just managed to get around her and pin her to the port layline. We tacked on layline and had her locked to windward of us. At the mark we luffed to slow her down and after about 30 seconds she lost her bow and slipped into us earning a penalty. She chose to spin her penalty at that moment which allowed us to bear away and get a five length lead which we held to the finish.

After we closed out our series, we had to wait for the other three pairs to finish as their series went a little longer. The series we were watching closely was the Leroy (FRA) vs. Souter (AUS) matchup as we would race the winner of that series. They took their series to the end and Leroy just managed to beat Souter across the line. After a short break to rotate boats, we got underway with the semi-finals.

Our first race was exciting as Leroy earned two penalties during the race. We led the race for the first lap, she passed us right at the leeward mark but got her second penalty right then which enabled us to take back the lead and win the race. The second race of the series we ended up losing as we missed the first shift off the line and despite closing right up to her downwind, we couldn't quite get around her. The third and fourth races were not too close as we led her off the line and were able to hit the first shift and extend from there.

We would very much like to thank our Title Sponsor, Maclaren, our Gold Level Sponsors 11th Hour Racing and Laser Performance, and our Bronze Level Sponsors Carmeuse, Trinity Yachts, and Chicago Match Race Center for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their continued support. Also, thank you to our private donors.

Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to either The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) memo'd Anna Tunnicliffe, or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

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