Over the last week the Redline Racing team has been in Vaasa, in Northern Finland for the Grade 2 Wasa Match Cup. Being as far North as any of the team have ever been and the seemly end of summer in Northern Europe, our Musto gear from Musto Australiasia served us well in the cold and rain. The regatta attracted some tough competition including the number 10, 15, 17 and 25 teams in the world with the Redline team entering the regatta ranked 8th team.
A light regatta was forecast and on the first day a light shifty breeze welcomed the competitors. A few mistakes in the prestarts when judging the time to turn back around and head to start meant we finished the day with 2 wins and 2 losses. Not a bad day but definitely something the team felt we could improve on.
Day 2 brought even less wind and meant for many hours waiting ashore. To keep busy the we had an intense game of Ultimate Frisbee against the Swedish team where Patrick’s height and a month and a halves practice while away gave us a distinct advantage, taking the game 10-2. After more waiting around the breeze finally filled in at 2:30 and we headed out at 3pm to see what racing we could get in. Our race was against Stephen Lindberg (world rank 10) and in the 0-3 knots we were behind off the start but got back to within half a boat length on the downwind but Lindberg’s boat handling was a little slicker than ours in super light wind and he got away and we couldn’t catch him. Again, the wind shut down and that was it for the day leaving us on 2-3.
The final day dawned leaving us in a do or die situation for our all of our final 3 races to make the semi finals with the focus on correcting our misjudgements on the turn time on the starts. In the first race the team put in a gutsy performance to take a come behind win against the world number 17 team of Ogeman. Race two of the day the boys timed the turn perfectly and won the start and sailed a clean race to victory. This left it up to the last race but a mistake in the dial up meant we got a penalty but the team still managed to turn correctly and won the start. At the top mark in an attempt to wipe our penalty led to the umpires thinking we infringed giving us another penalty. This meant we had to take one the penalties immediately leaving us behind with a penalty still outstanding. The boys worked hard, linking some shifts up and caught right up going into the finish line. We were in a tricky situation where if we sat where we were our opponent would surely win due to our outstanding penalty so we threw the works at them in a last ditch effort to clear our penalty. In doing so we thought we had cleared our penalty and went for the finish line but the umpires saw it differently, giving us both a penalty meaning we still had one outstanding and our opponent took the race and with that our semi final spot fell through our fingers, leaving us in 5th.
We were left disappointed but also with many new lessons learnt and improvements made, especially on the last day. The team is excited to take these new skills and knowledge with us to our last event on the tour, the Grade 2 Baltic Match Cup in Tallinn. Many of the competitors from Vaasa will be in Tallinn so we are looking forward to catching up with them and going at it again on the race course! Hopefully we will have more wind than last time we were here!
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