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Canada's Richard Clarke reports from World Sailing Cup - Lost mojo

by Richard Clarke on 7 Apr 2012
CAN 8461 Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn; Star - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2012 MartinezStudio.es © http://www.rc44.com
Yet another light tricky day off Palma, I guess that all the sailors are frustrated with the randomness of the winds but some of us are handing it better than others. We, well...lets say are not getting many breaks. I guess I should start this post talking about breaks as in breakages, we had some today that cost us places. First was some broken teeth on our jib luff zipper that we unfortunately found when we hoisted our jib out at the race course. These broken teeth rendered the jib unusable so we used our strong wind jib all day, not ideal in light winds.

I am not going to blame our poor performance on using this jib but I am sure it didn't help. It for sure made my steering groove very small and at times we were off the pace. The other breakdown occurred on the second beat of the first race when I tried to adjust the rake (angle of the mast) and the purchase (pulley) system blew apart. Luckily the swage of the wire caught under the foredeck or we could have lost our mast.

Bad news was that I needed to spend 1/3 of the beat under the foredeck while Tyler hiked and steered fixing the problem. I did manage to fix it and we did only loose a few boats but we had position ourselves nicely to pass a few boats so it was a frustrating time for a breakdown. The sum of all that was a 13th place in race 1.

In the second race things went slightly better, still a bit compromised off the line but managed to hold onto a thin lane and tacked into a nice lefty. The shift held up the beat and we rounded the first mark in fourth. The story of this race was that we were slightly off the pace downwind. Not sure if it was the heavy jib, mainsail trim, body position or what?

We're about to start debrief so hopefully the video will show our error. Whatever it was it made the runs very difficult as our slowness made it tough to hold lane and keep in the pressure. We minimized the damage on the first run to a few boats and promptly passed them back on the second beat but on the final run our house of cards came crashing down as we lost five boats to finish ninth.

Frustrating yes! I am sure people sitting on shore could see the steam coming out of my ears. Anyhow, time to reset maybe have a beer and relax. We are still in 10, losing our grasp on the front but tomorrow is another day.

There is a promise of some more wind so maybe that will make things easier.

Stay tuned.
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