Laser Midwinters kicked off with a breezy first day. With 15-18 knots and big swell, I ould tell that it would be a physical day on the water. After getting out to the course and tuning up, we had to wait a while for the race committee to get a course set. The waves were big enough that the pin boat was having a hard time getting an anchor to hold. I spent my down time trying to get used to the tricky wave skew of the day. After the pin finally got an anchor down, we were all set to go. Because of all the drifting, however, the line was left with a pretty significant boat-end bias. This put a major premium on the start of the race. After a general recall on the first start and a black flag, the fleet backed off a bit, and I was able to get a clean start off the boat.
Day One proved to be somewhat of a drag racing day, with long tiring beats and intense downwind runs and reaches. I managed a fairly consistent score line with a 4th, 7th and 8th...looking forward for some light-air action in the upcoming days.
Day Two brought what I'd hoped for: a tricky, shifty day with light winds and tough chop. A pin-end basis made for high stakes racing. After 5 long, hot hours on the water, I sailed in with a 4th, 13th and 3rd, putting me in a solid position moving into day 3 of the event.
Day Three was more or less the same as the previous days. After a long postponement in the morning, we finally got underway in soft, 5 knot conditions. After scoring a battle-back 10th in the first race of the day, I knew I needed a good score to put myself in contention for the podium on the last day. I managed to get off the line clean and lead the pack on port tack. I rounded the windward mark in 1st and ended up securing a 2nd as the last breeze of the day died out. That put in 3rd place, 2 points behind 2nd and 4 points ahead of 4th going into the final two races.
The last day of the event had a beautiful, 8 knot wind that stayed throughout the day. Only two races were scheduled, and I knew I needed two solid scores. After a tough start and fairly deep windward mark rounding in race 9, I battled back to a 6th which all but guaranteed me a top 3 finish in the event. Because of my low drop, I was able to take an aggressive start in hopes to pass into 2nd place. Unfortunately, I couldn't make up the gap necessary, so I ended up 3r in the event.
2017 Midwinters was a solid event for me and a great way to kick off the spring season. I'm looking forward to some hard training in California before heading off to Spain for Trofeo Princessa Sofia in Palma de Mallorca in late March.