Light Wind Challenges Everyone on Day 2 of Miami OCR

Winds that barely reached into the high single digits made the second day at the Rolex Miami OCR a trying experience for every sailor. A few reports from some American teams competing.


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Team CroninCarol Cronin, Kim Couranz, and Margaret PodlichYnglingAs predicted, [Tuesday] was a less stellar day wind wise. It was also a much less stellar day for Team Cronin! After a two-hour delay waiting for breeze, we started a race in 3 to 5 knots, which is usually one of our better conditions. But we struggled to hold lanes upwind and downwind, and eventually finished a very dismal 15th. After a short conference with Coach Paul we made some adjustments, and the next race our speed seemed much better. We were able to match pace with some of the fleet leaders, and felt very good about the changes we made. Unfortunately we were one of four boats called out at the first mark for being over the line early. Bummer! And because the wind was dying again, the third race of the day never materialized. All in all, a great day to put behind us.We are currently in 11th overall with a lot of work to do the next few days. The good news is how great an event this has become, and how many international competitors are here taking advantage of the great sailing and competition. US SAILING estimated they had 150,000 hits yesterday, which is why the regatta website crashed! It is now up and running again with lots of great info about scoring and personalities, And Gary Jobson is also doing daily reports about the event, so there are many great ways to follow along from your desk.Thanks to all who have sent us supporting emails. All we can say is we will go out and do our best again tomorrow. For more, www.teamcronin.orgVince Brun and Brad NicholStar(ed.'s note: Brun is sailing as a last-minute replacement for regular skipper Andy Horton, who was unable to escape from his duties with the Luna Rossa America's Cup challenge.)The day started out looking like a good day for golf. The two forecasts that we received included terms like "light and variable" and "the bay will glass over." The race committee postponed on shore and we were left to sit in the hot humid parking lot waiting for wind. Against all odds, a sea breeze began to fill and the race committee sent us out to try for a race. After a few hours of bobbing around in light air, the wind filled in enough for a race around 2 p.m.Vince and I were in the blue fleet again and were the first to start. The pin was favored and the sky was clear on the left side so we decided to work the left. Things happen in slow motion in light wind and the calamity at the pin was a long way coming and we could not avoid it. Three boats in front of us were over the line taking our air and one boat next to us was trying to go back to restart. By the time we cleared ourselves from the traffic jam things looked bleak. We stayed focused and were able to find some clear air up the first leg and made it to the top of the course in the middle of the fleet. Downwind the fleet kept sailing high of the course to the leeward mark fighting for every bit of wind. We were able to keep clear and pick up a few boats. At the leeward mark we were working hard to stay ahead of a boat that was close behind and were late getting the boat ready to go upwind. I was very close to turning our brand new jib into a handbag but was able to correct the situation with a quick jog to the bow to clear the tangled sail. The botched rounding forced us to sail to the right side of the course and half way up the leg there were two miles of separation between the right and left side. At this point a large shift could have shifted the standings significantly but in the end, we all came to the weather mark about even.The final leg was more of the same battle for clear air and we held our position to finish 7th, a great come back after a difficult start. [Wednesday] looks to be similar to what we ended up racing in today with a light to medium sea breeze. It's the final day of the "qualifying series" and after tomorrow's races the fleet will be split into gold and silver for two days of racing before the final medal race on Saturday.For more, www.hortonnichol2008.comGeoff EwensonFinn[Tuesday] was a very challenging day. The forecast was for light and variable conditions, and it was very accurate. After a long wait we were able to get two races off in a light southerly. In the first race I missed a huge shift off the starting line and found myself groveling for any hope of a top-half finish. I took some chances but was only able to make it back to 22nd. It wasn't a total catastrophe as many guys were having a tough race, but it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. In the second race I had more luck and sailed well enough to finish eighth. I had good speed downwind and hit a big shift up the final beat. It felt great to pass boats nearly the entire race. At the end of the day I sit in 11th place overall and I am working to get into the top ten. The forecast for the next few days is for better breeze and steadier conditions. I will keep you up to date with my progress.Check out to see my interview from [Monday]. Gary told me I would be leading off the show tonight. For more on Geoff, www.ewensonsailing.orgTeam 7 SailingSally Barkow, Debbie Capozzi, and Carrie HoweYngling[Tuesday] was our day to brush with the cool, northern Nordic countries. Silja Lethinen from Finland, who posted a 2-2 yesterday, followed that up with a 2-1 today to move into a clear lead in the Yngling Class at the US Sailing Rolex Miami ORC.After two races on a frustrating and shifty light-air day, Team 7 Sailing is in second place overall, trailing the leader by seven points but still with a one-point advantage over our British rivals, skippered by Sarah Ayton.The weather on Biscayne Bay this morning was fair, flat, and foggy. The thermal was fighting with the first whispers of an approaching northwesterly front and no one was winning. The race committee wisely kept us ashore but finally sent us out on the course where we spent more time drifting in circles. Eventually a weak breeze filled in and we started racing at 1:00 p.m.In both our starts today we were pipped at the post by the Norwegian boat helmed by Siren Sunby. In the first race, the left looked favored and we were going for pin end start but Siren was there first, moving faster and taking the track we wanted. By the time we got off the line we were deep in the fleet and had to grind our way back to tenth at the weather mark. Vlada Ilienko from Russia took the lead in this race and held it. We had a nice downwind leg and then picked up more places on the next beat to round the weather mark the next time in fifth. Sarah was ahead of us in fourth on the run to finish in barely four knots of breeze but we were able to get past her on the last jibe into the finish line.The wind picked up to six knots for the second start and we had another battle with the Norwegians for the pin. They prevailed and we followed but a nice left shift opened up some opportunities for us until it shut off and made life difficult. We got to the weather mark in about tenth place. With the aid of some good tactical calls from Debbie we gained downwind, ending in sixth but we were still trailing Sarah's boat when we finished.Did you check on today's racing on our Bulletin Board on our website, Mark Ivey, one of our coaches, continues to do a super job, calling in the on-water action to Julie Howe in Boston who posted it on our new Bulletin Board. Go there any time to get the latest news and information, or to leave questions and comments. To view the Bulletin Board, go to the new Join the Team section of our web site. Just click on Bulletin Board in the second panel down in the left-hand index.