ISAF World Cup Event

Dear Friends,

We are making our way back to North America (California then Bermuda) after 1 month of sailing in Mallorca. It was an exciting month for us, between putting our new boat together, to working with Ramon for a week, and to qualifying for Gold Fleet at the Princess Sofia Trophy - ISAF World Cup Event (Grade 1). We sailed 21 days (9 race days and 12 training days) over there and that concentrated sailing, a month before the World Champs, is a great preparation for our Olympic Qualifier. We are looking forward to a few weeks break before we head to Croatia to qualify for London 2012!

The event had 76 teams from 28 countries (we were 7th country) and was by far, our best performance in the 49er. We won two races (one in qualifying and one in Gold Fleet) and had numerous top 10's, which had us in 7th place after day 4. The goal for the event was to sail consistently in the top 15 in the 3-day qualifying series, to make Gold Fleet. We did that, with finishes of 13, 6, 13, 3, 25, 5, 9, 1, 17.

The breeze throughout the qualifying was in the 6-10kt range and our speed in these conditions was good as anybody in the world. We were happy to close out races, where we were doing well and also to scrap back into races, when we were mired in the pack early on. The highlight of the week was winning a race in Gold Fleet, where we had great lane management on the 1st beat and then won the battle of the top 3 pack throughout the next 3 laps.

We still have much to learn in Gold Fleet though as showcased in our final day of sailing in 14-18 kts, where we struggled to find the speed we had earlier in the week. There were large waves and the sea state made for challenging 49er sailing, with the boat consistently jumping into the air (centerboard out of the water) going upwind and downwind. We have a few ideas on the tuning for these conditions for the next time; at this level, the changes are subtle, but they make a big difference when competing against this tight pack (Gold Fleeters). We were happy on the day to have kept our boat handling clean over the 3 races on the intensive 6 leg courses (think 9 spinnaker sets, 9 douses, etc), which kept our scores fairly respectable (17, 19, 17).

We were pleased with our performance here, but the mission is not complete. Qualifying at the Worlds in Croatia next month remains the priority. We have enjoyed the success, but also discussed the improvements to take away from the week. Rather than resting on the laurels of Palma, we hope to build on the success to crescendo towards a great Olympic event this summer!

Thanks again for all your support!

- Zander and Jesse