Sunday, March 27, 2011

Starting, Italian Style!

Kiss the Madonna and Baby Jesus for good luck!
So we finally managed getting off the line in the last race. And guess what, we were second at the windward mark. OMG, we DO still know how to sail! Jamie's main comment in regards to starting was: Beat the two boats around you. And he is sooooo right. Keep squeezing up to the windward boat until you at least can see the veins popping out out of the tacticians forehead or until you hear something like: " He, he, he gazzo dio, porca miseria!!!!! Then smile at them as you bear away at 10 seconds and leave them in the dust. Yeah.....
In the first race we actually got rolled, again. And that after repeatably telling ourselves that we were going to pull the trigger early....anyways, we managed to find a lane and were in ok shape at the first mark. Coming into the leeward gate it was full on with boats piling up and lots of Italian language. We positioned ourselves infront of another boat told them that they did NOT have an overlap coming into the mark zone, had to give the boat ahead of us some room so swerved a bit wide and guess what? The boat behind us just barged inbetween the mark and us. We end up having contact with them. We yelled protest and within two seconds we get a red flag and repeated whistles by my favorite Italian Umpire (who's name I will not disclose, but will tell you that I believe he is half blind). As I look back (after hearing the whistle, sure that the Italian boat was getting a penalty) I see that the flag is pointed at us. Not believing what my eyes are telling me, I shrug my shoulders in disbelief. The umpire completely looses and he's head literally almost explodes as he yells: USA 13, you will keep doing circles until I say so!!!! Madonna, take it easy pal......
Obviously we were in last after doing our circles and getting getting released from "circling-hell", caught a couple of boats and got ready for the last race.

Lots of good lessons learned. I'm super happy to have sailed this event with Michael and Jamie. At the end of the week we had found great upwind and downwind speed, adjusted to Italian starting and solidified our team under pressure.
31 Audi Melges 20 boats, ready to race!

Team Bacio is looking forward to sharing some Italian Starting Techniques at our next event at Charleston Race Week in a couple of weeks.... He, he, he, he :-)
More, less critical, reporting can be found on the Audi Melges 20 website here.
Congratulations are in order for the top Italian teams that sailed a really good regatta.

Chris out

Our new team car and driver....

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