After the initial dissapointed we remmebred that the next two days we were to be sailing in a high intesity camp on the M32 catamarans that are to be used in the World Match Racing Tour next year and into the future. These boats are sailed with four people, have a mainsail, a big code zero gennaker and racks for the crew to sit out on. They are incredibly physical boats to sail with all the sheets having much more load than what we have become accustomed too, many more metres of rope to be pulled and trampoline to be run across and the float is forever grinding the gennaker sheet in and out of manouvers. For the camp to coach the teams we had three members of the 2013
World Match Racing Tour Championship winning team and current M32 Series leaders, the
US One Sailing Team.
Taylor, Hayden and Ricky were incredible in helping the team develop a base of knowledge on how to sail these boats and also how to manage a team. So Day 1 started with a 6am gym session at Windy City Crossfit where we had Hayden’s trainer running us through a warm up, a curcuit and then a team rowing challenge. The challenge was a 2km for time which you could split up however you wanted within the team. With our prior training with the fantastic team at Southern Crossfit back in
Perth, our team had the advantage and won the challenge completing the row in 6 minutes and 10 seconds, beating the coaches!
After our gym session we went down to the match race centre had breakfast and got the boats sorted. The forecast was for fresh breeze and it wasn’t wrong! We headed out under the instruction of a full main but we quickly realised we needed to put a reef in which we did and started doing laps of the winward leeward course. The wind was blowing straight offshore and gusting over 30 knots making for a real baptism of fire for all the teams! After our first go we hoped off the boat, worked a few things out and when we got back on we were sailing much better and with a lot more confidence. Then all of a sudden the wind kicked a little again and one of the other teams had capsized, it was quickly communicated that we weren’t to use the gennakers and to sail downwind on main only.
Doing this isn’t too easy as now with the boat going slower it loads everything up more and on our second time downwind a big puff hit us, the bows went in and Matt couldn’t bear away to depower as we would have cartwheeled. Matt made the split second call to try and spin the boat up to get rid of the power but the puff was too strong and we too ended up swimming. After a little while we managed to get the boat back up with the assistance of a power boat and all was ok. By then the call was the reef again so we got one more sail and practice race with Chris Steele and his team in the blustery conditions which we managed to come out on top of. After a debrief and dinner all the teams were wrecked but we knew we had it to do all over again tomorrow and we couldn’t wait.
Day 2, same thing, early morning at the gym where we again won the fitness challenge. Even with this though after how hard the sailing was the day before we know we have to keep getting fitter and fitter as it will only mean the boat will go faster for longer on these tough days! Day 2 though brought lighter wind 0-8knots. This allowed us to run some racing on the a standard M32 course, much the same as an Americas Cup course with the reaching start and finish and a top and bottom gate. We had a great start to our race flying a hull across the enitre leg and around
mark 1 with the gennaker deployed to lead start to finish. We finished up the day with a debrief and went back to the apartment hooked on what is to be next year!