Team Rooster NACRA 17 back from Hyeres World CupHi everybody!
We are Laura and Francesco, the new Team Rooster for the NACRA 17 class. We are really happy to be part of the Rooster family and we proudly wear all our kit every time we go out sailing!!Here is a report from our world cup in Hyeres (France).
We started Day 1 with 30+ knots, really challenging conditions for the NACRA 17s! Perfect day for the Supertherm LongJohn!! We rounded very well the first upwind mark (in 8th position) but unfortunately we weren’t able to bear away immediately. A gust of wind lifted the boat from the trampoline and the tiller extension got caught below the leeward rudder, breaking the tiller extension… We tried to continue but without the tiller extension with those conditions it was extremely difficult and we could not finish the race (only 14 finished that race).
Day 2 we came back strong, the wind was light, our perfect conditions. The first race we didn’t start particularly well and we managed to finish 16th. Second race we had an excellent start and controlled the race, finishing 1st! :-) In those conditions we were extremely fast so an excellent performance. Third race of the day we raced well and finished 11th, but unfortunately OCS. Between the third and fourth race of the day we had to change the position of the gennaker halyard, therefore we couldn’t go to the board to check that we were OCS. This was the worst mistake we could make. We started race 5 not knowing that race 4 was an OCS, we had a really close start together with the NEDs and we were once again OCS (final finish 12th). We went back to the harbour and tried to look at footage of the starts as in both cases we had started very close to another boat (that was not OCS). Unfortunately there weren’t videos, but we had listened to the recordings from the race committee and from the pin, in both cases we were out in the last second to the start!
Day 3: coming back after two OCS' is not the best you can do in a race. Without the OCS we would have been 11th in general standing, now we had to fight back from the 26th position... This left us during the night with quite some thoughts. We arrived at the club on day three wanting to prove ourselves, unfortunately on the water we didn’t perform as well as we wanted. Clearly our minds were still stuck on the OCS so we started very badly in all the 4 races of the day. The conditions were tricky but with a clear mind we could have certainly sailed better, we risked a bit too much on the angles, whereas the correct strategy would have been to sail in the centre always in the gusts. The first race of the day started at 4pm finishing the 4th race at 7 pm so the day at the club had been extremely long.
Day 4: finally we could go back in the water. This time we had time to talk between us and with our coach. We were calm and we knew that with light winds we could race with the best of the fleet. We started really well in all the races of the day (with no OCS this time). Race 1 and 2 were extremely difficult strategically as the wind was struggling to get in and we had to race on every gust. In race 1 we rounded the first upwind mark in 2nd place, then we had a really poor downwind (14th at the bottom) as we ended up in an area with no wind. We stayed strong, upwind I (Laura) was constantly calling the gusts and wind we caught up and Francesco did an excellent job on tactics downwind, leaving us at the end in 8th place. Race 2 was another good performance in the top 10 (10th overall). We wanted to race well and so we did, we didn’t risk the angles, we had raced in the middle of the race course always on the wind. Obviously some boats were lost from the far ends, but we were very happy to be able to be fast and constant in the middle of the course (another two races in top 10). The final race of the day the mistral came in, with stronger winds we still struggle a bit in speed compared to the rest of the fleet. This lead us with a final place in 19th position.
The overall standing at the end of protests was 19th. We are extremely happy with some races, especially with the win, and disappointed with some big mistakes we had made, especially the two OCS. The 40+ points that we have lost with the OCS would have left us in a final standing of 15th place overall, not to mention that without thinking about the start day 3 could have possibly gone differently.
We come back from the world cup knowing that is in our power to race and sometimes beat the best that the NACRA 17 class can offer with light winds. Our goal toward Tokyo 2020 is extremely long and we will work to improve with strong winds and to avoid OCS in the next races.
We really enjoyed sailing our first world cup together (as we are a new team) the year of the Olympics, when everyone is pushing at its max to achieve a medal.
We are extremely happy with all the gear that Rooster gave us!! In NACRA 17, as the boat is so fast, even when the weather is quite warm we tend to use the Supertherm LongJohn and if we need more layers we put on our Pro Aquafleece to keep us warm!Thanks a lot Rooster!! Looking forward to the next race, Laura and Francesco.