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Portugal Day Race 2014

Provisionally we have only entered 3 academy boats for the race, even if we had enough students to race on all 4 boats, knowing that there are always drop outs the last minute.

Eventually it came as expected and we just had enough crew to form 3 teams. A few years ago I always complained how difficult it is to keep the crew together throughout the sailing season. Now I realize how easy it was to get one boat organized, try to get that done for 3 or 4 boats and you know what I am talking about.

We evenly distributed all experienced students to the 3 different teams for the day and went early to get the boats prepared. Something always goes wrong in the preparation and before we knew it was a quarter to 12 already. In our usual fashion, we only made it to the start line in the last second and went off to a reasonable good start on Escape, with the other two academy boats following us closely. The weather forecast was predicting a building NW throughout the day. What we experienced instead were glassy conditions, with hardly any breeze. We followed every little puff on the water and tried hard to stay in the little breeze as best as possible. At the same time we wanted to stay in contention with the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately we had to go so far westerly to stay in the small wind band that we eventually over stood the lay line to the first mark at Dying Family. If the wind would fill in for the boats starting behind of us we would be properly screwed.

Despite beating all the boats around us fair and square during the first hr of the race, we were taken in by all the bigger boats. They were able to lay the first mark straight after the start as wind was filling in. Despite being in the lead for some time, there was nothing we could do and we finished the race on 18th place overall, but well ahead of all the other boats in our class.

The students on Mac a Tini also sailed very well and finished third in our class. Our third entry on JML 1 had a tussle with kelp during the race and lost a lot of time in the process. We all know very well how that feels, I had that happen many times before. It sucks.

Nevertheless the academy has proved once more that our sail training pays off and that we do have a lot of talent amongst our young sailors. Well done to all you.

The price giving became a very festive affair with Vito Medina, the race chairman, handing out a lot of prices to our academy. 1st & 3rd in our class, 1st & 3rd in the L26 class and 1st in the team event. We couldn’t have asked for more.

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