This past weekend 12 boats rolled into the sailing Mecca that is Santa Cruz. Not a bad turnout considering that 7 West Coast boats are in the container and another team that were due to attend had to bail.
Six teams got out Friday afternoon to train in perfect 15-8 knot breezes. A good time was had by all and we were set for a good weekend of racing.
PRO John Siegel and sailing chair Christina Shaw did an amazing job all weekend in turning out spot on racing, great courses, super fast turnaround and dialed in the breeze to perfection.
On Saturday we had the wind at 240 degrees, shifting around a little to give a few passing opportunities. We started in around 12 knots and at the end of the 5th race, yes 5 races, we were up to around 18 knots. Racing was always tight and any mistake was punished by the high caliber fleet. This was the toughest racing we have done this year and we have attended a few events!
Sunday was almost a repeat, with the wind building all day probably tapping out in the low to mid 20’s. Really great racing.
Race 6 though was the highlight of the weekend. Holt/Woelfel opened the gate and the fleet was off. For once the fleet was spread evenly left to right up the beat and somehow the combined brains of some of the West Coasts finest couldn’t get it right. Coming in fast at the top was Ian O’Leary and Matt Merchant, hotly pursued by Steve Andres and Nathan De Vries. After that it was too close to call. Aaron Ross and Rob Waterman had a strong start to the run powering past Jeff Miller and Adam Wolnikovsky and then Bruce Edwards and Rich Mundell. For a while Ryan Nelson and crew were looking fast as were Tim Murphy and Brendan Heussler. A poor gybe by Mike Punnett and Keahi Ho saw Aaron and Rob move up to 2nd. Somehow, with victory within their grasp Steve and Nathan spectacularly capsized allowing Aaron and Rob into the lead.
Behind the pack was closing in fast, multiple World Champions roaring down the run trying to make up for getting the beat so wrong. Could Aaron hold his nerve, pull off the gybe and take the win???
There was a wobble, but YES!
Frankly the rest of the racing was a bit of an anticlimax but great fun. The level on the West Coast keeps improving and the distance from last to first is continually shrinking. Nine of the teams racing are going to the Worlds and I am sure not many people would bet against one of them winning.
On Jun 28, 2022, at 7:46 PM, Mike Holt <Mike...@iointegration.com> wrote:
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