On Saturday Dave Hughes and I finished the regatta with a win in the medal race and 7th overall in the 470 Class. The wind was remarkably good for the week of training and also the week of racing. We sailed most of our day in a fantastic 12 – 20 knots of wind. And, of course, we could not escape the classic 5-8 knot Palma Spring thermal sea breeze, in which we raced several times.
When we arrived in Palma, things started slowly and certainly with a little frustration. Overseas flights can take it out of a person and both of us felt weak from travel. Dave toughed out the flu to stick with our on the water preparation plans.
On top of this something was wrong with our rig tuning in this 470. We were using all the same equipment we raced with in the Miami World Cup event: the same mast, shrouds, spreaders, luff wire, and puller. Yet, we could not match the rig tuning with what we used on the boat in Miami. We spent days in strong wind without enough bend on the mast. But, each day we made incremental improvements: extra filing on the spreaders for extra range, more tension, and shorter spreaders (for more bend under vang). By the end of the event, we were in a tolerable range and our speed showed.
Our conclusion was that the boat geometry of the boat (chain plates relative to mast butt) must be different. So, we have a bunch of measurements to bring back home and check out our USA boat.
This event was a good test because most of the top international teams were racing. It confirmed our thoughts for what we need to work on and there was significant progress on our boat speed around the course.
Our next 470 event is a long distance in the future. However, I have some exciting coaching and keelboat racing lined up. At the end of next week, I head to Long Beach, CA to be among a group of coaches and youth sailors for the CISA advanced racing clinic – a great learning opportunity for the sailors and coaches!