“GREEK NATIONALS ORCI & IRC – 2015”, WED./SUN. SEPT. 09-13
This is our main regatta of the year and a lot of effort has been put into the preparation of the boat and the Team. Over the next 4 days the weather forecast is for low to modest winds, something we believe to be favorable for the set-up we have on MELX II. All of the very best teams in Greece compete on this regatta and we look forward to 4 days full of sailing and tight competition.
On day 1 the Race Committee managed to set up not one, not two, but three races, all windward-leeward. The wind was from Southern direction and the sea was a bit choppy. On Race 1 we had good speed and tactics, but we were not as concentrated we ought to be on some points of the race, ending up on 2nd place by only 16″ from the winner. On Race 2 we had a good start, but made some wrong tactical calls. The end result was a remarkable tie on 2nd place again. On Race 3 fatigue came in, we lost our concentration and the end result was a disappointing 7th.
The wind on day 2 was very shifty and not strong at all; 4-8kts. The Race Committee decided to opt for the long offshore race, 33 nautical miles long, which also had a scoring gate almost half way through. We all knew that this was a critical race for the overall results of the Nationals, as it had a 1.3 coefficient.
After a fantastic start we kept together, for the better half of the 1st leg of the race, with the much larger boats of the fleet. However, some critical tactical mistakes cost us dearly, ending up on 8th place on the scoring gate. Despite the battered morale and the exhaustion from the scorching sun and the blazing heat, the team worked even harder on the second half to cover up for the tactical mistakes, thus ending up on 4th place.
The overall score thus far had a clear winner; the boat MY WAY with 13.1 penalty points, and then 5 boats in between 2nd and 6th place, within only 18.9 to 22.7 penalty points, and MELX II – P.L.FERRARI on the 4th place. Given these results, we should have to put up a tough fight to get to a podium position, and by almost a miracle, to win the Nationals(!). We actually needed to stay ahead of MY WAY in every single race until the end of this series.
The Race Committee managed to get through only one race for the day and although our result was not particularly good (only 5th), we did manage to stay ahead of our main rival, MY WAY, that came 6th. Ahead of us for the day came boats that were way behind on the overall score, which moved us up from 4th to 2nd overall on the series, but from the 2nd to 8th the boats were all within 3 penalty points, something that was leaving all podium positions open to be determined by the races of the very last day.
The day started with a fairly strong northerly wind, 12-19 kts, which remained for the whole day. The Race Committee managed to complete three windward-leeward races, all very tightly fought; anybody against everybody.
The performance of our team, and of MELX II – P.L.FERRARI, was nothing less than fantastic, bringing us inch by inch, closer to our original target of winning the Nationals.
However, one 1st place, one 2nd (with a tie again) and yet another 1st on the last race, proved as per the overall results, not sufficiently enough, leaving us all with the bitter taste of the second position.