April 01, 2000

2000 Laser Master World Championships (Cancun, Mexico)

by Doug

These are my Worlds race journals.  I send daily updates home to friends during the events and often receive good advice each day but I also find them to be a useful analysis tool when preparing for the next event.  I’m making them public in the event others might learn something from them.

Race 1

In a fog, had no shift pattern, my first race since November. Found a hole 3/4 of the way down the line, tacked below Mark Bethwaite. We went right, then he split to the left, I went with the larger group to the right, but proteced the left. At the first mark, a rightie came in and I dropped from 2 to 5. On the run, went high in good pressure to move into 4th. Went right, played the shifts, rounded 3rd at the weather mark. On the reach, we were watched closely be the jury boat, Alan Keen was yellow flagged. On the run, Keen made a nice move to get inside me at the mark. Went high in the reach to cover but could not get him. Finished 3rd. Duration 85 minutes.

Race 2

The pin was empty with a bit of current, so I went left with Ian on my hip. Wanted to go right, so ducked Ian and worked a good lane. Light and fluky conditions. Rounded 5th. On the run, the first 4 punched out, there was a big gap, and then me with 2 others just behind. I stayed high in good pressure to put in some distance. On the beat, went right, with the wind all over the place, played the middle. Keen banged the right corner and came in first. On the lay line with current and 6-8 on my hip, just made it around the mark. On the reach, Peter Branning was yellow-flagged. On the run, Decker and Bethwaite were close. On the final beat, the leaders went left, I went right. Almost caught Ian. Finished 5th. Happy – could have been 15th. Duration 75 minutes

Race 3 – finished 3
Race 4 – finished 5
Am now in first place

Race 5

Started at the boat, thought the current would help but got squeezed out. Pointed higher than JAP. Bethwaite started at the pin, tacked, and crossed the fleet. Rather than be patient, I tacked below and worked mid-right. Was in the teens, worked up to 8th at the mark. On the run, went right and then left. Passed 3 on the outside and then lost them at the mark. Worked hard to get back to 7th. On the reach, could not catch Ted Moore. On the run, felt slow and was passed by Peter. There was a big gap behind me, so I started to get aggressive. With pressure on a wave, tipped. Did not lose any positions, but came up with Coutts, lost him at the mark and could not catch him on the bottom reach. On the final beat, went left, missed the strap and fell in the water, lost Keen and Ian. Finished 12th.

Race 6

Started 2 up from Bethwaite, ground off to the left. He suggested we tack, so I did and we went off to the right. Led the field with Coutts just behind. At the mark, Bethwaite bore off through the pack to take the lead and led by 100 yards at the bottom of the run. On the beat, off to the right, Bethwaite tacked to cover Coutts and I continued to the starboard lay line. Got a lift on port to round just ahead again. Bethwaite went high and powered over me, with a big gap to 3rd. On the run, he carved well, to put another 100 yards on me. Jack and Coutts closed the gap (“sailing too conservatively”), opened up again on the lower reach, went left, Bethwaite covered me, played the shifts, and almost lost to Jack. Finished 2nd.

Race 7

Started 3 up from Bethwaite. After 5 minutes, he tacked and ducked me. After 30 seconds, I talked and we went right. Got headed, rounded 3rd after Coutts and Bethwaite, who powered in front. They stretched on the run, me still in 3rd. On the beat, Bethwaite went right, Coutts and I went left. I caught and rolled Coutts. When we converged, I rounded 5 seconds in front. They were faster on the run and I settled for 3rd.

Race 8

Started just below Bethwaite, charged off as he tried to roll me, which he could not do, so he tacked. There was more pressure below. They tacked, I kept going right. Rounded 10th on the run, went low, passed by 2 on the right. Finished 6th.

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