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Irish Entry Only 5 Points off Melges 24 Championship Lead in San Francisco

26th August 2012
Irish Entry Only 5 Points off Melges 24 Championship Lead in San Francisco

#melges24 – Irish Melges 24 skipper Conor Clarke admits it has been a tough few days  for the sole Irish boat at the Melges 24 North Aemrican championships in San Francisco.

A really difficult day on SF bay today in so many ways. Our starts were poor, we even had to tack and duck the fleet in the last race because we were not laying the pin, we had two incidents at top marks, the Swiss got pinged by the jury for one of them, we overlaid a downwind mark and had to claw back with the kite, we seemed to forget how to gybe and some other basics of sailing. A very gloomy day all round.

The good news is we have held on to second place and we are now only 5 points off the Aussies leading instead of the 6 points we were behind yesterday evening.

We started well with a 2nd behind the Swiss in the first race after a pretty ragged start and rounding the top mark quite deep in the fleet. We seemed to like this 6 leg race that gave us time to pick our way back. Second race was again a non spectacular start and we clawed back to second again but lost two places in the last run. Third start was disastrous, we could not lay the favoured pin end and wound up reaching across the back of the fleet on port and got pushed out to the right away from where we wanted to be. Top marks were a battlefield especially with short 1.2 mile legs which didn't leave much of a spread in the fleet.

Day two of hiking is harder again than day one, you lose your appetite very quickly and wind up living on Gatorade, painkillers and energy jellies. The mood gets low on board when we're not winning and we do work very hard to recover from our mistakes. We hike harder than any other boat in the fleet (we have been watching closely) and we push ourselves harder downwind we believe. We really could do with more time together as a team on the boat to eliminate the mistakes but the real world intervenes and allows us only a few regattas per year.

Two more races tomorrow hiking and pushing even harder, we want to get past those Aussies so much...

I hope tomorrows final report is more joyful.

Published in Racing Team

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