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Irish Melges 24 Lying Second in North American Championships

25th August 2012

#melges24 – Ireland's only Melges 24 'Embarr' is campaigning in San Francisco bay racing for North American honours. Skipper Conor Clarke reports.

Today was very hard work, hiking these boats is really tough and when it's blowing 25 knots there is no relief downwind when you still have to hike and trim hard.

San Francisco Bay is tricky too with tides and currents part tide borne and part wind borne. We went the wrong side of the course in the first race but we still made it round the top mark second. However some poor handling left us struggling by the time we reached the first leeward mark. We finished 7th in that race, very unhappy with ourselves and some frank discussions took place.

We went the right way in the second race and had a battle with the Aussies all the way. Our helmsman is Nathan Wilmot and his brother Jeremy is calling tactics for The Aussies on Bandit so we are super keen not to allow them get ahead. They won the first race though and now we were battling with them from behind in the second race. It was AUS 1st and IRL 2nd in this one.

In the third race we got to the top well ahead of them and with just one of the US boats in contention with us. We managed to extend our lead after that so that by the finish we were well clear of the fleet. That 1st in the 3rd race left us 2nd place in the Championship overall but a tough 6 points behind the Aussies and only 1 point ahead of the 3rd placed boat.

Two more days to go. The forecast is lighter tomorrow but we're not sure if that will suit us or not but we'll just have to take what is given to us. If we can stay at the front consistently and not screw up as much as we did today then we can still do it.

SF is an amazing place to sail, everywhere you look there is an amazing sight, Golden Gate, Alcatraz, SF skyline and beautiful scenery everywhere. Prof is entertaining us with lewd jokes and tales of goings on in his youth back during the famine, Dave's persistent positiveness has shown a few cracks, Nathan is still the pushiest man on the planet and poor Kate, who is with us for the first time after Shona pulled out blaming pregnancy, seems sometimes overwhelmed by the intensity of the whole scene and some of Profs jokes.

More news tomorrow when we will be trying very hard to wipe out that 6 point deficit.

Published in Racing Team

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