Extreme Sailing Series : Anna Tunnicliffe/Team Maclaren updates from Cardiff UK

Saturday, 01 September 2012

What an amazing day of racing yesterday was at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 in Cardiff, UK. I recently joined Team GAC Pindar as tactician, and after a few days of practice we hit the race course yesterday for day 1 of racing. The boys did an amazing job around the course with the boat handling, giving us very consistent results leaving us lying tied for second after the first 8 races.

I arrived in Cardiff last Sunday afternoon, and we had a short sail late that afternoon to shake down the boat and let the two new crew, me and Rick, see how the boat works. The second day of practice was fantastic. We had to train outside in the bay, which meant we had to go out through the lock. It was a tight squeeze with two 40's and two support ribs, but we managed to make it out and back in OK. The sailing outside was great as we could stretch our legs and sail for more than 30 seconds without having to tack or gybe. The breeze was up and there was a small chop which gave us great conditions to really learn the boat quite quickly. The following two days we sailed back inside the "lake" in a couple of different wind directions and strengths.
The course area is a long narrow course with half of the course underneath the city, and the second part opening up a little. The wind direction has been in the same general direction meaning we have reaching starts close to the city, race out to the open area, and then back.

Yesterday we completed 8 races in a three hour span. The course varied a little bit, but generally it was a reaching start on starboard, round a mark, downwind to a leeward gate, a couple windward leeward laps, beat back up to the top, and a reach back to the finish line. I think the races took around 10 minutes, especially in the earlier races. There were a lot of penalties given out around the course, and given the size of the course (the downwind leg took about 40 seconds), mark roundings got very interesting so a lot of quick thinking and planning ahead was required.

My job is to try and paint the big picture, call the strategy and keep an eye out for changes that we are going to have to make in our plans. The breeze was about 15-25kt yesterday on the open part of the course, and things were changing very quickly. But it was amazing racing and I had so much fun.

Racing continues through Sunday. You can follow Team GAC Pindar on their Twitter  and check out the results on the regatta website.

Sail Hard,


Anna: 4D's: "Dream,Desire,Dedication,Discipline" TM

Team Maclaren: 3P's: Passion...Performance...Perfection...TM

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 September 2012 )