On 1st and 2nd September we were racing at the second and last session of the Regional Liga Ost in Rust. Although the weather was as bad as the forecast – only with less wind – we had great fun and again an amazing learning curve. “We” is in that case: Eduardo, Christian, George and myself (Andreas) on Saturday 1 September and Ike instead of Christian on Sunday 2 September.
Some basic facts: 4 race days in total -> 1st weekend in Neusiedl (UYCNs) and 2nd weekend in Rust (BYC); 8 teams were racing with 4 boats (sunbeam 22.1) -> so every team did every 2nd race average or in other words -> 2 consecutive races are 1 flight and only completed flights are counted as then every team has the same amount of races; low point system -> 1st place 1 point … 4th place 4 points, DNS or DNF 5 points (DNS = Did Not Start – e.g. when crossing the start line more than 3 minutes after the 1st starter; DNF = Did Not Finish – e.g. when crossing the finish line more than 5 minutes after the winner).
After weekend 1 in Neusiedl we were ranked 8 (from 8). Thanks to the fact that we had George as tactician during weekend 2 we finished the Rust event as number 4 (with only 2 points difference to the 3rd) – so we move up 2 places from 8 to 6 in the final overall ranking.
The regatta format is great for learning as you do many short races – the course is set to last about 15 minutes – if you ruin a start you can do better 20 to 30 minutes later.
Gennaker – lessons learned: before we started for the RLO, I thought we will have no chance as long as we are not close to perfect with this big sail (what we are for sure not) – not true for this kind of races! Due to the short course no mistakes while hoisting or driving the Gennaker are allowed. We had one situation where boat 1 and 2 were quite fast with hoisting the Gennaker, but sailing into the wrong direction. While correcting that, we crossed the finish line with classic butterfly as 1st… there is always hope for the mistake of the others, unfortunately it does not work 3 times in a row 😉
Rotation – already in Neusiedl we started to rotate positions; everybody of the crew was able to do all positions including helm; it showed essential to get an understanding of “the other position” (my favorite example: helm is not able to bring the boat around the windward mark to downwind fast when the mainsail is not eased as fast)… and it keeps the overall motivation and fun level high… we did it!