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SYWoC UL Blog: Day One

25th October 2009
SYWoC UL Blog: Day One


Conor Martin of the University of Limerick blogs from Marseille: After long hours of travelling we are finally in Marseille. On Saturday, the draw for the boats and practice race went ahead before the start of the tournament on Sunday. We were happy with our boat but with 25 knots of breeze, the practice race looked unlikely in the morning.

In the afternoon however, the winds died slightly and so, the race committee decided to go ahead with the practice race. The conditions were still very tough, with the head of the Swiss team's spinnaker tearing completely off before the race. In the race we got off to a great start, leading the race around the windward but unfortunately, were caught by the Swiss team only a boat length from the line. However, being the only team with a reefed main, this was an encouraging start to the tournament and all aboard were happy with the performance. So, its back to hotels now for dinner and wait for the opening races of the tournament tomorrow

First race day

Today started with very light conditions, with racing having to be postponed for an hour before any breeze filled in. In the first race we got a great start off the line, leading the race for a lot of the first beat and coming in in third behind CIT and Team USA around the the windward mark. With the fleet splitting sides on the downwind leg, us deciding on the right hand side, a massive 60degree shift towards the left meant those teams who had chosen the right were duely punished. The race was then shortened to finish on the same downwind leg and so, left us with no time to catch up, finishing in a disappointing 9th place with the English and French teams coming in first and second respectively.

The second race again saw the same shifty conditions. Again, we got off to a great start but with tough conditions we slipped back a few places in the opening beat. This time however, we had time to fight back from this position and worked our way up the fleet, eventually finishing in 3rd place behind the Italian and American teams. With light wind forecast for later in the week, the committee decided to run a third race.

In the last race of the day, the wind had become a bit more solid, allowing for more consisent racing. A good start and first beat saw us in second position around the top mark, just behind CIT, and with the Czechs close behind. On the downwind leg Cit and the czechs went opposite side of the run, while we decided to play the middle. At the bottom mark the Czechs came around in first place, with CIT in second while we got caught in a small group of boats, ending up coming around in fifth, a position to which we held onto for the rest of the race, with the czechs winning and CIT coming in in 2nd. With that, racing had ended for the day, leaving us in third position, behind The czech team and defenders CIT.

Until tomorrow...

Below:  UL on the water in France: L-R): Darragh O'Connor, Katie Tingle, Rachel Cronin, Kevin Stallard, Billy Clarke, Patrick Hegarty. Absent: John Blake, Cian Gallagher, Conor Martin.



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