At the half way point of the regatta, we met our first goal of qualifying for the Gold Fleet and we live to fight another day! We are steadily clawing back from a couple rough races on the first day, and we currently sit in 28th/60 boats, merely 22 pts from the top ten. The Qualifying Series ended today, so the fleet has been divided into Gold (top half) and Silver Fleets for six more races before the Medal Race (top ten).
Our primary goal here in Aarhus is to secure one of the 20 country berths for the USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which means finishing in the top eight countries. For the next six or seven races, we will battle with 19 other nations for those spots, and at the moment we are only 22 pts behind the eighth nation. We’re charging it!
The points are extremely close across the fleet because the racing has been really tight and challenging. Each day we’ve seen a shifty, offshore breeze, and even the leaders have had races deep in the fleet. We’re focusing on keeping our minds sharp, taking this long regatta one race at a time, and fighting for every last inch. In case you missed it, here is the link to our best race yet, when we finished 2nd on the first day of qualifying: https://youtu.be/EysOkqIGZjk. Cheers to more of these!
Day one: We sailed the first three races on the Stadium Course, which is nestled next to shore for the viewers. This venue is incredible, and the grandstands were actually full of enthusiastic spectators cheering at the top mark rounding's. The course's proximity to land also meant that there were random, huge shifts and the puffs were pretty crazy. The velocity ranged from 5-13 knots, so it was challenging to even chose a rig setting. We had two deep finishes, which we attribute to strategic errors and a little bit of bad luck, but we also sailed our best race yet and finished 2nd in the 2nd race of the regatta! Watch the racing from Day one here: https://youtu.be/t2wd0Vt9lHQ
Day Two: We saw big breeze and moved up 9 places in two races! This was our best day yet. We love when it's super windy and chaotic. We had two solid races in 15-20 knots. We took big risks, sailed the boat hard and were very happy to post a 5th and a 13th.
Day Three: Yesterday we hurried up and waited. After a 2 hour postponement on the water, we drifted around the course for a challenging 45 minute race. We absolutely nailed the start at the pin end, but unfortunately, a couple minutes after the start pressure filled in from the right side and benefitted every boat on the racecourse except us. We went from winning to 25th by the top mark. But we clawed back and finished 19th in that final race of qualifying. The Qualifying Series (for Gold Fleet) ended and we made the cut- Goal #1 complete!
Watch the first three Gold Fleet races LIVE TOMORROW 12 PM local time (6 AM EDT): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihBCFVwHKZT_jHc3Y3j8YA?sub_confirmation=1
Facebook: @RobleSheaSailing, @WorldSailingOfficial, @aarhus2018 or @USSailingTeam
Youtube Channel: World Sailing TV
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