Friday was another tough day onboard the Melges 32 Warpath, probably the most challenging of the entire week. We went into the day in fourth place, with a shot at third and a chance at second place. Samba Pa Ti, after stringing together consistent results all week, was nearly untouchable.
In Race 9, we had a decent mid-line start, but a thin lane forced us to the right. The lefthand side of the course was favored all day, as there was considerable current relief toward the shore. We rounded the top mark in the middle of the pack and slowly chipped away at the fleet. They say the rich get richer, and that was definitely the case here—the lead boats continued to extend. Intac sailed a great race and lead from start to finish; we were fifth.
The final race of the regatta was ugly, plain and simple. We struggled off the line and, after getting tacked on twice up the first beat, rounded the top mark at the back of the fleet. We worked hard to maintain our composure and grind back as much as possible. In the end, we finished 14th, which ended up being our discard race.
In general, Key West was a mixed bag of emotions. Two great days of practice and a strong sense of confidence from our regatta win at the Gold Cup were soon forgotten by bad luck and a dramatic collision on Day 1. Great speed and good tactics later in the week were coupled with late starts and tough lanes. Our crew work was for the most part crisp, though there’s still room for improvement.
In the end, we finished the regatta in fifth place out of nineteen teams—a respectable finish in the highly competitive Melges 32 fleet. That being said, we could’ve sailed a lot better, and we’re all looking forward to narrowing in on our mistakes for the next regatta.
_ Access SW‘s complete coverage of Quantum Key West 2012. _