Warming up at the Braassem (20/21 March 2010)


The agenda: 8 races planned including heavy rain, gusts up to 30knots, sunshine and light winds. In short: everything.

And we in the middle. Nicely boosted with last weekend’s experiences we had new objectives: no damage and in every race one boat behind!

And we had our 4th crewmember on board: Andreas! Welcome in the 4th person position!

Andreas in the team


First day:

Enthusiastic and as said with agreed potential we sailed to the start…

… and pling our backstay broke. Maybe we should have taken this as an omen… J

But with speed (as the 5 minute signal was already there) and skill (greatly displayed by Andreas and Denis) a provisory backstay was fabricated and we just could avoid the complete fleet sailing towards us! So we hurried sailing with a small delay behind them (as we needed to go behind the starting line again first).

Well, giving up is just not an option – so we tried hard and we cached up! We managed the manoeuvres (ok, not perfect and with maybe less speed than needed, but hey!) and we left quiet some 4-5 boats behind us!!!

The second race started unfortunately even worse, as we got stuck in the starting struggle and were touched and had to touch boats. Not a nice experience, but I guess one you cannot really avoid, so we got even a bigger rush of adrenaline and continued – and still left boats behind us!

The third start was also not really a lucky one, as we started from the second row and slowly our mood was dropping a bit…

And as the 4th start was a good one, but we somehow did loose during the beating too much and only left one boat behind us we quiet a bit disappointed after enduring the rain and gusts of this first regatta day…

Second day:

With new hopes and some more time for perfecting our rig-tension we started the second day. In theory tensioning the shrouds seems easy and after around ten attempts in getting them exactly even on both sides to a value we had calculated in our secret rigging table we confidently went out in the proven configuration: Stan on the helm, Andreas on the main, Denis on the jib/spi and me in the bow.

Already at the first beat it was getting clear that something was very wrong, we lost to the other boats without real reason. One tack definitely was better than the other one and despite our best efforts and some catching up during the downwind leg the next beat threw us even more behind!

The second race with Denis on the helm was not much better. Ok, we did not have good starts until now, but clearly not as bad as the place (last) already after the first upwind leg was suggesting!

Again, there was a bit catching up during the spinnaker sailing, but loosing everything again during the beating. And yes, we screwed up some manoeuvres – especially the spi up and down (we really need to work on this). But anyway – not to the extend to justify the result (at least I really really hope so…). So despite the beautiful sunny day and the great view of 35 J22s the mood was very low – as all of these beautiful boats were in front of us.

At that point we made a decision to use the day to work on our second goal (as both objectives were already obsolete for this weekend): Understanding of all the positions and learning them for our own skills and enjoyment (instead of finetuning the race positions).

Therefore Andreas got the honour of the helm for the third race, Stan went to the bow and I went to the main. And immediately we figured out that you can learn as much theory as you want for trimming and/or tactics, reality is muuuuch more difficult 🙂

Nadine on the helm

Well and in the last race I helmed!!!! Jabbadabbadoo!!! – maybe I would have preferred doing this for the first time during training and not during the race, but I really enjoyed it (as you can see…) – now I am really feeling like part of this boat! (I will not even speak of the result… – but so what – it can only get better if I will ever helm again).

And in the end – despite the results we enjoyed the weekend and hopefully at least kept some potential…

Back in the harbour

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