Monday, May 21, 2007

Venice Team Racing Summary - By Staffan

The regatta took place in Venice over the weekend of May 11, 12, & 13th. 20 teams participated. LISOT was represented by Marlena, Declan, Antoine, Deirdra and Matt. The competition was fierce and 8 great teams participated and the regatta was leveled as Berlin with exception from last year that had a world championship standard due to the late worlds. Every meeting was short and always started with - This might be your last chance to win a big team racing regatta. By winning LISOT made US optimist history by being the first team to win or place better then 3rd in an international event. A clear sign that the US optimist sailing is on rise.

The first day was sailed in great breeze, 9 races were completed. We ended with 8-1 after beating Italy's world team and a loss against a regional Italian team. Best sailor of the day was Marlena - she had great boat speed for the day. The loss felt a bit unnecessary due to the unlucky start where we as usual had a boat over. The win against Italy showed world class, we had 2 boats over and where still able to turn race around!!

The second day we sailed great....after the starts...we lost every start. We made 4 unbelievable comebacks and Matt saved the day in the last two races after a great pass-back on the downwind. In the last race Matt caught the third placed sailor against Serbia and forced him to 7th. The loss against team 4 is not much to talk about.We were behind in the start, passed them on the downwind. At the downwind mark two of our sailors spun and since the last leg was one tack due to shifted wind it was nothing to do. Coming out with 7-2 record LISOT won the round robin and we would sailed against team 4 in the semi-final since they placed 4 after winning a tie against Lazio.

Last day started with a meeting, we agreed upon to skip the tailing and just do individual starts due to the lack of success in the pre-start against the better teams. The wind had changed and it was a very light breeze. We raced against Team FOR. We won with a 1,2,3 and made it look easy after we rounded the downwind mark in a winning comb. The final against Italy was tough and strange. We lost the first race heavily after missing the start -again or in this case the Italians did it better then we did. Most of our sailors started at the pin and the Italians just pulled away after the start. Around the upwind mark they were 1,2,3 and 4. There 4 slowed our sailors down and efficiently killed the race. In the second race the opposite happened. Deirdra held them off at the upwind mark and our sailors finished 1,2 and 3. The only thing to add is that they were very close to pass our 3 around the downwind mark, due to better downwind speed. The sailors have also learned how to cover on
the last leg in a very efficient way and if we are slightly a head or behind, we never lost a final leg. Last race went back and forth the whole race around in a great way, after loosing around the downwind mark it looked dark, or say impossible. The italians were 1,2,4,6 just 1/3 from the finish when we finally got hold on 2 of their sailors. Antoine and Matt sat on one poor Italian on the right side and Declan held the second one on the left allowing our 4th to close in. At the finish they all came in at the same time. We were still loosing but the margin was down to nothing. At the finish line one Italian got nailed on port and it was a total mess. One whistle was heard and a red flag flew. Who could it be? No one goes back!! After around 3 minutes an Italian boat went back to the jury boat!! The Italian was penalized for rule 42 but in my opinion they broke several rules at the finish line.

Many time no calls are made but in this regatta the overall standard of the judges were extremely high, in every race 4-5 sailors got penalized and I did not see many mistakes (our sailors will have a different opinion).

That we won the regatta was a great achievement that we all have worked extremely hard for in many years. Beating the Italians in Italy is always tough. Next LISOT must look toward team racing nationals and get a second shot for Berlin. See you soon.

Extra thanks to Peter Wilson for great input. - Staffan

Sunday, May 13, 2007

LISOT Continues To Roll At XXI Trofeo Marco Rizzotti

Day 2 (Saturday) of the XXI Trofeo Marco Rizzotti Team Race Regatta brought great breezes and a completion of the Gold Fleet round robin.

LISOT won it's last race in the prelimary round robin and then began the Gold Fleet round-robin. The Gold Fleet is made up of the top five teams from each of the two preliminary groups. Although LISOT lost to other USA team (Team FOR) they otherwise went undefeated to finish the Gold Fleet round robin at 7-2. At 7-2 LISOT was tied for first with Spain headed to the semi-finals against Team FOR.

The initial plan was for the semi-finals and the finals to be a best of five series however Sunday morning conditions caused the Race Committee to shorten these series to best of three.

Early Sunday morning (in the USA) reports from Venice state LISOT defeated Team FOR and the Italian National Team defeated Spain to both advance to the Finals. LISOT and Italy split the first two races in the finals. Meanwhile, Team FOR was doing the same in their Petit Finals with Spain. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 11, 2007

LISOT Has Successful Day At Trofeo Marco Rizzotti Team Race Regatta

The 21st Trofeo Marco Rizzotti Optimist Team Race Regatta started today in Venice, Italy. LISOT is one of two American teams participating by virtue of their co-win at the SE Team Racing Championship in St. Petersburg, FL in January. Team FOR (Florida) is the other US team. There are teams from Italy, Slovenia, Japan, Greece, Algeria, Spain, Croatia, Switerland, Hungary, New Zealand, & Serbia.
 
Today the 20 team field was divided into two groups of 10 teams each. Although the wind was light the Race Committee stayed to the task and got in 8 out of 9 races. Presumably tomorrow they will finish the round robin after which the first five teams in each group will advance to a championship bracket.
 
LISOT's team of Marlena Fauer, Deirdre Lambert, Antoine Screve, Matthew Wefer, and Declan Whitmyer had strong day ending with a record of 7-1. This puts them in a three way tie with the Italian National Team (that they beat) and a regional team from Naples. Team FOR is 6-2. They are in a three way tie for the lead in their group.
 
Saturday's second round will determine the four teams that will sail in the semi-finals for the championship on Sunday. 
 

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reflecting On Team Trials

Life got back to normal this week for the 28 sailors that attended USODA Team Trials in Miami, FL last weekend. After 3 and a half long days of heat and intense competition the sailors will find school quite relaxing.

Team Trials was everything we expected it to be - big (202 sailors), warm (temps in the mid 80's) and ultra competitive. A sailor qualifies for Team Trials by finishing in the top 25% of a regional event like the Atlantic Coasts or the New Englands. The one exception is the Nationals where 50% of the fleet (including the Green fleet) qualifies. Obviously this raises the level of sailing immensely. In fact, it raises it so much that first to last in each race finish within a little over 4 minutes. That's a boat finishing every 2.4 seconds for four minutes. We had a number of parents generously donate their time to help on the finish boat.

Fortunately, LISOT sailors were up to the task. Although the conditions were extremely difficult (shifty and light to medium winds) everyone settled in and put together strong races (about 35 minutes in length). Twenty of our 28 sailors finished in the first half of the fleet and twenty-three of the twenty eight will likely be invited to the US National Team (50 sailors) or US National Development Team (25 sailors). It would appear that at least 13 sailors will receive invitations to this summer's international teams. This is nearly 25% of the available spots.

Clearly we are very fortunate to have available to us great clubs that support our activities early year round and a critical mass that permits practices that simulate as best you can this type of competitive environment. Our coaches continue to be instrumental in the success of our sailors. Jens Kulstad (the doctor of psychology), Manny Resano (the doctor of speed) and Soren Laugeson (the doctor of experience) all gave our sailors whatever they needed (mental support, boat speed help or tactical advice). Many thanks go to these guys for a super effort. Parental support shouldn't be forgotten either as without this no sailor would be there!

It's now time to look ahead toward spring and summer training and the national and regional events in Minnesota (Nationals), Newport (New Englands), and Norfolk (Atlantic Coasts). We hope to see you at a practice soon. - Doug, Wes, & Phil

Sunday, May 6, 2007

TT - It's Over

LISOT had a great showing this weekend.
Today the RC got in two 2 races to make 14 for the series.
At the awards 19 LISOT sailors were announced for the US National Team and US Nationall Development Team. All LISOT sailors can be proud to have again landed 2 sailors on the 5 sailor World Team., 1 on the European Team, 5 on the North American Team and 7 more on the. Flanders (Belgium) and British Nationals teams. This is 13 sailors out of 56 spots.
Many of us are sitting in MIA airport waiting for thunderstorms to clear. Our plane has been diverted from LGA to JFK because we are sippard to arrive too late. I'll write a more detailed report tomorrow.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Team Trials - Saturday Summary

It was a new day and with it brought new inconsistency at Team Trials in
Miami today. The fleet left the dock on schedule (9:30) with a strange
northeasterly wind seemingly a result of the early morning storm cells to
the west of Biscayne Bay. While the wind was light (5 knots) it did slowly
build but the course was tough to figure out. A little bit of current made
for far fewer OCS's today. In fact, significant line sag allowed observant
sailors a huge starting advantage.

Throughout the day the wind continued to build topping off at about 12-14 in
the fourth race. The Race Committee efficiently ran 5 more races (now 12
races have been sailed) and nearly killed the finish line committee. Each
start of 100 boats was finishing in just over 4 minutes! Finish line helpers
Annette Morrill, Karen Doherty and grill-meister Bob Read we totaling
exhausted after their day on the water.

Coaches Jens Kulstad, Manny Resano and Soren Laugeson all kept the LISOT
sailors focused and motivated. Although there were some lows to the day
(yellow flags and OCS's), many LISOT sailors scored top ten finishes.
Marlena Fauer, Melany Johnson, and Deirdre Lambert all scored bullets. How
about that girl power! Chris Schade, Matt Wefer and Declan Whitmyer each had
seconds while Andrew Mollerus, Evan Read and Markus Edegran all scored
thirds. Laura Wefer, Lily Katz and Tracy Doherty also scored in the top ten
with a fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively.

LISOT currently has at least 11 sailors in the range to qualify for the
summer International Teams but as many as three races will be sailed
tomorrow so the results are far from certain. Dock start is again at 9:30 so
we'll all hope for some more top ten finishes.

You can check out the complete results at www.coralreefyachtclub.org

Friday, May 4, 2007

Team Trials - Friday Summary

Day 2 of Team Trials greeted the sailors with almost no wind in the morning. The RC postponed the dock start time to noon and then when the wind started up earlier than expected moved the dock start time to 11:30. The RC did a great job getting the races started on time and Race 4 began shortly after 12:30 PM. The breeze was light but building slowly from the East. As each race passed the wind continued to build until it reached about 12 mph and then for the fourth race of the day the breeze actually backed off to about 8-10. It took until 6 PM to get the four races finished.
 
The conditions were not quite as challenging as yesterday. They did  require you to pick a side of the course and sail there because the middle often seemed to have less wind. The challenge of the day was to start well without being over early (and therefore OCS). Most starts were started under the Black Flag but even when race 7 was started under the "I" flag there were many scored as OCS. In the four races today there were about 100 OCS's. While LISOT didn't have too many we had our share.
 
Tomorrow the dock start has again been moved back to 9:30 AM. The hope is for 4 or 5 races but it will take fresh wind to accomplish this. The prediction is for much of the same.
 
So far (after seven races) Morgan Kiss from Michigan leads with local Mac Agnese second and Pearson Potts third. LISOT's first five are Matt Wefer (7), Antoine Screve (11), Deirdre Lambert (16), Marlena Fauer (18), and Evan Read (19). The next throwout, at 12 races, will play a huge role in the scores so stay tuned!
 
For complete results check out www.coralreefyachtclub.org.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Team Trials - Thursday Summary

What a tough day! The fleet left the dock as planned at 11:45 and sailed almost 30+ minutes out to the racing area in  ESE breeze at about 6-8 knots. Temps were in the mid 80's when the sun was out but when some local cells approached so did the clouds. Fortunately the sailors didn't get too crispy.
 
The race committee (RC) got 1A off pretty much on time (under a Black Flag)  but the wind was patchy and shifty. As the day went on the breeze dropped and got more shifty. Surely the sailors must have thought they were on Long Island Sound. The RC perservered and got three races in although the last one had some sailors not make the time limit because the breeze had dropped to 5 or less at times.
 
The scores (http://www.coralreefyachtclub.org/gui/coralreefyc22244/pageimages/YouthSailing/RACES13.htm) show how difficult it was to be consistently at the top. The schedule tomorrow calls for a Dock Start at 9:30 AM with a 11:00 AM first start. Presumably the RC will try for 4 or 5 races to stay with their hope of getting in 15 races for the series. The forecast is for more of the same (or slightly more).
 

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Wednesday Summary

It was typically hot and humid in Miami today for practice. The wind filled in and the coaches Jens, Manny & Soren gave the sailors a good couple of hours workout until the skies threatened about 3:30.
 
The sailors went about getting their equipment measured and everyone seems ready for the regatta to start. The team had a nice BBQ at the Residence Inn thanks to Annette Morrill, Karen Doherty, Nancy Koltes, and Susan Katz. Bob Read presided over the grill.
 
Racing starts tomorrow afternoon. The weather prediction for the next 4 days is much the same - hot, humid and moderate seabreeze.

Team Trials 2007

The 2007 USODA Team Trials starts tomorrow at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, FL (www.coralreefyachtclub.org) and indications are it will be the largest ever at almost 200 boats. All of the sailors qualified by finishing in the top 25% of a regional regatta in the last 12 months (or top 50% of the Nationals). This event makes the team of sailors that will represent the USA at this summer's World, European and North American Championship as well as the Danish Nationals and the Flanders (Belgium) Youth Regatta. There are only 57 spots for these 5 events.
LISOT has 29 sailors participating. Expectations are high after 14 lisot sailors qualified for Spring international teams but Team Trials is always the most competitive event of the year. Not only is the competition fierce but the four days of sailing are both physically and mentally gruelling.
Racing starts on Thursday afternoon and goes through Sunday afternoon. Conditions are expected to be typical Biscayne
Bay-temps in the low 80's with moderate seabreezes daily.
Expect a daily post here but if you lwould like more frequent reports subscribe to the LISOT list from the LISOT website at www.lisot.org. - DPW