Wednesday 24 February
Today was the first official practice day at event one of the Liberty Bitcoin Youth Foiling Cup. The day brought sun and a fantastic 10kt sea breeze which we relished after the lighter winds of the days before. it was nice to see the sailmon reading high teens upwind again having not seen much above 15kts since arriving.
We have been really structured in our goals for the next few days and our big goal for today was upwind boat speed and transitioning through pressure, especially in takeoff phases. this meant we decided not to join in with the practice races and focus purely on boat speed. we feel we made significant improvements in our boat speed and, more specifically, our consistency through pressure differences. the biggest area of gain for us was through communication. we have increased the chat in the boat greatly in the upwinds in order to keep the boat sailing fast through the pressure changes. Despite being on the foils and doing 18-20kts upwind the same basics still apply and the big talk in our debriefings was about sail trim and boat balance, much the same as in my 420 debriefings with the RHKYC Sharks Squad back home!
Tomorrow we will practice some more boat handling and approaches into the bottom mark and join in with the practice races
Thursday 25 February
Day 2 of practice brought a lot of fog in the morning which we thought would be a bad sign for the sea breeze. However, by 1100hrs the fog had burned off and it looked like another great day on the water with sun and a sea breeze! Our focus on the water today was more boat handling so we spent the hour and a half before practice racing doing lots of tight manoeuvres, much to the pleasure of the foredeck team I am sure!
After practicing our gybe drops and drop gybes we joined the other teams for some races. Overall, we feel our boat handling and boat speed is in there or thereabouts however we need to improve our decision making on the race course as it was costing us some places, particularly on the downwind. You live and you learn and this is what practice racing is for pre-event so all to be expected. Tomorrow we are going to try and iron these out and see what our biggest aims are going to be for the first event which is the warm up event for the main regatta in early march