Wow… what a great day of racing!! With 18 boats in the event, the racing is extremely top-notch and in very close quarters. It’s been totally full on from the starting gun through to the end of todayâ€™s races, with leads changing all the time.
We left the dock at 7:15 this morning just before sunrise, because of the tides and the lock/harbor entrance schedules. The first race went off at 9:00 am.
There was a slight time delay, but as the starting sequence of five minutes began, the boats began to work out their starting strategies and positions. The way sail races begin is with a five-minute countdown… you canâ€™t cross the starting line until the gun goes off at the end of the five-minute countdown… so you try to position your boat so itâ€™s at full speed to take maximum advantage of the winds and smoothly hit the timing of the start.
We started at the front of the pack, but quickly enough there was a general recall… meaning the line judge wasnâ€™t able to see all the boats clearly, and so they restarted the race. On the second start, we were in an equally perfectly position with a clear lane for a fast start. We held our position and were the second boat around the first mark… working hard with winds in the high teens and low twenties. We went back and forth with the leaders the whole time, but ended up in fifth position just a boat length behind Mare – one of the race favorites, but all of the boats were very close in their finishes.
The second race was a long distance harbor race with 7 marks and about 25 miles to the finish. Again, we started strong and held onto a top position working our way up to third rounding the last mark. Confused by the translated sailing instructions, we misunderstood which mark would be used for the finish, and hoisted our A3 spinnaker, when we should have used our A4. With the boats as close as they were, this miscalculation cost us three positions, and so we ended up that race in sixth position.
Though we weren’t up front, our finishes were still quite respectable within the fleet of 17 boats.
It was a day of great sailing and of demanding performances under a variety of conditions. One leg across the harbor at 8 miles long went by so quickly, it was almost a shame. With Bodacious Dream skipping through French waters at speeds between 17 and 21 knots, it only took 20 some minutes!! All in all, it was a great thrill, and we are all very excited about racing again tomorrow.
Given this was our first time racing as a crew, and that we only had a couple of quick hour-long practices, we are confident we will continue to get better as the regatta continues. And I have to say, what a thoroughly great group of guys to sail with – happy, fun, energetic and excited to be taking part in a World Championship.
We’ll continue to try to bring you updates from the water as best we can. Until then… time for some much needed rest before the pre-dawn boat call tomorrow.
- Dave and the Bodacious Dream Crew
P.S. In addition to our own BoDream Facebook Page, the Class 40 Association has a Facebook page too, which while it is in French, looks like it will have lots of photos. We’ll pull the best ones… (i.e. the ones of BoDream anyway!) and post them on our FB page.