2015 Sonar World Championships
The team was in Falmouth, MA this past week to compete in the 2015 Sonar Open Worlds with 26 other boats. Sailing in an open regatta is always a bit of a change for us, as we sail with a spinnaker instead of our regular two sail program. To help us with our spinnaker trim, we were join by our coach Ken Dool over the four day regatta.
The first day of the regatta, Thursday, offered a solid breeze of 8-10 knots and a wicked current, at times reaching a speed of 2 knots. Needless to say, it provided entertaining and tricky racing. A big theme of the day was fleet management, trying to find good lanes with clean air while trying to race towards current relief on one side of the course. Both good starts and boat speed were crucial in carving out a path to the favoured side of the course. Clean mark roundings were also a key to success, as the strong current led to tricky lay lines. We hit the mark not once, but twice, though it is safe to say that half the fleet did the same. We finished the day 8th ,4th , 13th ,18th , relatively happy considering all the hotshots in the fleet.
Friday offered more of the same, a moderate breeze with again a strong current. Learning from the previous day and with the help of a strong start, we were able to kickoff the day with a bullet. (insert video?)
We finished Friday with a 10th and a 9th. Once we were a few boats back, when a great lane couldn't be found, finding an acceptable lane was important. Competing in a larger fleet than normal gave us great learning opportunities.
The weather on Saturday did not cooperate. Even with a valiant effort by the race committee, we were not able to get any races in. Sunday unfortunately provided more of the same. Even with an early start, we were only able to get one race in, a 5th. Other races were attempted, but we ran out of time due to too many general recalls. Much entertainment was provided participating in a few start sequences with a massively strong current pushing the fleet over the line.
We finished the regatta 7th overall, a new record for the team at an Open Sonar World Championships. It has provided us with a great training opportunity as we get prepared for the 2015 IFDS Worlds in Melbourne this November. A big thank you to the Falmouth Yacht Club, the Race Committee, the volunteers and our fellow competitors that made the event possible. A special thanks to our spinnaker trimmer extraordinaire, Ken Dool, and our delicious sandwich artist, Terry.