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wThursday, January 21, 2010

Nikola Girke North American RSX Champ!

Nikola Girke (CAN-17) reports:
"After three days of racing in a wide array of different conditions, we were able to get 7 races completed. There was only 6 of us girls but we raced with the guys fleet so we had more competition to race against, but we also are on different size sails and fins so it was definitely more challenging. Although there was only 6 of us, it was really tight racing - the group included two of my training partners that I was in Mexico with and the British Bronze Medalist from the Beijing Olympics.

Saturday started off really windy, 20-25 knots. Our race committee was having some sort of problems with our course area and thus we ended up waiting for over an hour before they got the first race under way. We eventually did and it was a long race - two times windward leeward (2 laps of up and down). I led to the top mark but lost my lead to the British girl on the downwind, but with another good upwind, I regained the lead and kept it this time on the downwind... to cross the line first. After this first race we all got sent in for lunch (we sailed to an island and they provided lunch for us). By the time we were back on the race course, the wind dropped a lot. We were able to get two more races off in the late afternoon in these light to marginal conditions (not my strongest condition), but I fought hard and finished 2nd in both races!

Sunday once again started off with strong winds as a front was moving through. The sky was ominous and the clouds over to the right side of the course looked very threatening. Thus, the right side of the course looked very favoured to me, so I decided to do a port tack start (see the picture attached). My timing was a bit off... about a second or so too early but I was committed to crossing the fleet... Yikes!! The over early flag went up, I knew it was me so I exonerated myself by going back to dip the start line. Then it was catch up time! I was doing my best when the wind did over a 90 degree shift to the right and thats when the race committee abandoned the race and sent us to shore. Those scary clouds were now above us and were about to cause havoc. Heavy rains soaked us on the way in. We waited onshore for the weather to clear and then were sent out for two more races. Although the weather had settled, the wind was far from stable. My position changed numerous times throughout the race, but managed to finish in 3rd and 2nd.

Mondays forecast did not look promising, but luckily we did manage to get some wind and were able to get two tricky races off. I was leading the first race on the first lap, but got left behind in a puff that didn't reach me. I quickly went from first to a distant 4th. The next race was not much easier... the race was won already on the first upwind and there was no chance of catching up. I finished 4th once again.
Having managed to sail a fairly solid regatta, I finished 2nd overall to Bryony Shaw of Great Britain... and
claimed the North American RSX Womens Title!
Now for a bit of rest, recuperation and some more training before the World Cup - Miami Olympic Classes Regatta starts next Monday the 25th."

posted by editors at 1/21/2010 06:03:00 PM

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