Mixed fortunes for New Zealand on Day 1 of Nations Cup
It was an interesting day on the water, starting at 2pm after the girls who raced in the morning. The top mark was placed about 100m max from the shore with an offshore breeze so the course was shifty with flat water.
Our first race was abit dissapointing. We were totally in control of the start untill about 20 seconds, when we let the Indian team tack back to the favoured boat end. They got the first shift and we couldn't catch up.
Our second race was against Argentina, We won the start and held our lead to the top mark. After we had gybed a pressure built on the other side of the course, Allowing them to pass us on the inside. However we managed to gybe back, cross behind and gybe with overlap inside them. They failed to keep clear and were penalised twice, giving us the lead. They passed us on the second beat but we were able to pass them on the final run as they tried to clear their penalty.
After this second race our boat handling and speed had improved significantly.
The third race of the day was against the french, who are favourites to win. We started to leeward but slightly behind. We were very nearly able to tack across them at the top of the beat but didn't quite do it before the layline. They tacked and just laid the mark. We nearly rolled them but a late luff at the top mark gave them enough of a lead to be clear of our wind shadow on the run. We didn't lose any ground after this but were unable to catch up to the French.
Our last race (as the sun dissapeared below the horizon) was against the Portugese team. We lost the start but were able to keep the race extremely close, almost passing them in an intense tacking dual on the first beat. However they got a shift at the top mark that gave them a small lead for the run. On the second beat we got very close to them again but they picked the last shift again and were able to win the race.
So it wasn't the greatest day as far as results is concerned, but we are improving very fast, enjoying the high standard of racing and looking forward to a 1pm start tomorrow.
The NZ Nations Cup team (Adrian, Pete, Will and Scott)