Mcnay Racing

Performance Sailing

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Melges 20’s at Bacardi Race Week Miami

ImageFifty-one boats registered in the M20 class at Bacardi Race Week in Miami. Once again, Thomas Barrows and I sailed with Camille. We had a great time on our boat and with the team of Andy, Mikee, and Greg. Thanks for the fun event on and off the water!

Miami can be a great place to sail. It has its challenges, but also has its patterns. One of the classic Miami weather patterns is rightward shifting breeze, but the left pays! The beats that the right works are when the wind takes a real step right. Otherwise, there will be more stable pressure left. We raced six of our seven races in 50-80 degrees true wind in the course area South West of Key Biscayne in the middle of the bay. In 5 of 6 first beats, a good start going left and tacking on the first lefty was best. In 3 of 6 first beats, a forced ejection to the right turned out OK. But, only if the boat was sailing fast and clear the whole time. In general, the righties were shorter lived than the lefties, so you had to take them when they came.

My take-away was that in a pin biased line, you had to start pin third. In square to boat biased, the middle of the line was best. Bottom line: good execution at the start made the beat much simpler.

Complete results here.

My next event will be the Princess Sofia Trophy in the 470, April 1-6.

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Etchells Midwinter Championship 2013

This weekend, I raced the Etchells Midwinter Championships aboard KGB. Most of the event was sailed in great conditions. On Saturday we had four races in 10-22 kts. It was a tiring job to re-trim the jib after every tack in the shifty NW wind and very challenging on tactics too! Thanks Senet and Jay for making the regatta possible.

Marco Oguenda Photo Credit

Marco Oguenda Photo Credit

The big lessons for this event were sailing less distance and timing of the first tack. Once in medium air, Etchells don’t go significantly faster with more pressure, so in big shifts (20 degrees or more), sailing lifted is the most important. With such big shifts – often unpredictable – you had to be ready to call a tight tack immediately off the line if a shift came.

We placed 15th of 60, which helped KGB round out the 2013 Jaguar series in 5th place.

Next up for me is the final event of the Melges 20 Miami Series. Racing starts tomorrow.