The first race got underway after a short postponement so that the windsurfers could finish their second race. We got off the line well near the boat and took the first small shift out right. We were looking great up the beat, and we hooked into a puff to come back near the starboard tack layline. It didn't last, and we found ourselves fighting back. The breeze went left hard, and we could only salvage a 14th, good enough for a discard. While we did have a lead on the fourth place boat going into the day, it was time to get back on track.
In the second race of the day, we started on our own near the pin. We were leading the drag race to the left side, just to leeward of Outerridge and Jensen from Australia, the 2009 World Champions. Our intention was to go until they tacked and follow shortly thereafter. Apparently, they did not know where the mark was. We both overstood the layline and came into the mark on a reach and well back in the pack. Time for another comeback! We stayed about even down the run, but we were set up well around the gate mark. We passed nearly ten boats on the second beat by staying in the pressure and on the lifted tack. It was exhilarating! We ended the race in fourth, but there was more to come!
Shortly after the finish of the second race, a squall came through the course. Water was lifting off the surface, and the rain was coming down so hard that it hurt. In those conditions, a 49er cannot stay upright. We capsized, and were content to remain like that until the breeze subsided at least somewhat. The problem with being capsized, however, is that the boat makes a somewhat efficient sail. We found ourselves approaching a turtled 29er relatively quickly. While we managed to fend their boat off of ours, we could not avoid their bowsprit hitting our rig and breaking the top spreader. It was crushing. We made it shore, aware that we might have been sent back to the water for more racing. Luckily we were able to put up our spare rig, and just as luckily that called racing for the day. Time to rest up...
This is our first time in the medal race in a podium position. We are eight points up on Outerridge and Jensen, meaning that we need to be no more than three places behind them to stay in third. The next two boats are within striking distance, but only just. We will need to be in the front part of the fleet, and not allow the Aussie team too much separation. This is what we practice for!
Stay tuned for the very exciting finale to the event. We race at 11:00 AM local time, which is 7:00 PM EST. Check out the website, here, for live coverage. Thanks to all of our supporters, sponsors, and to the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.
Storck Moore Sailing