LUCIE in Sweden – Day 8 – Racing!

A beautiful morning in Nynashamn and everybody is cheerful.
The dock is bustling in all languages and excitement over the racing that will finally start this morning. The first gun is scheduled for 1055 (Moderns) in course area C and by 0915 boat are starting to leave the dock. There is still a fresh breeze in the marina and we all know that there will be even more out there.

The fleet of 6 Metres is heading for the outer bay like a chain of pearls, one of the english competitors actually does it with its own back piper on the stern.

And there is a breeze of 16 to 18 knots out there, which does not bother anybody, but there also is quiet an old sea standing from the day before with 6 to 8 foot waves that rock these very tender (and relatively small) boats – this will be a wet day!

At 1100 the fleet of modern 6 Metres is being sent of for a two round and 2 nm leg course, the classic fleet is following around 10 minutes later. 19 boats carefully line up for their first start and all boats are clear! We are racing! The fleet splits up right after the start in one group that chooses the left side (which was the faster side on Sunday) and a group that searches for more speed on the right side. LUCIE is going with the left side and reaches the first upwind mark as boat 11 – not bad but room for improvement. So downwind she goes and at the gate she had worked her way up to position 9 – which she defended thru the rest of the race.

The second race saw an similar split right after the start (with only one boat starting early) but at the first upwind mark the field had split into essentially two groups separated by a gap of two minutes. LUCIE was still in the first group of boats – with no other rule 2 boat even close. It became apparent that LUCIE is competing against the upper half of the classic boats from rule 3, all with laminated sails, mechanical line handling, self tailing winches etc.. LUCIE finished the second race in position 9 again.

Then came the last race of the day – everybody was in it for more than four hours already! The initial field of boats had gotten a bit smaller as a few boats had to go in with technical problems. A great start and LUCIE went all the way to the left – further than any other boat, and was at the first mark in second position. Game on! It was still a very long way to go and during legs 2 and 3 LUCIE had to give up a few positions but ended the race in 5th position which is pretty remarkable. Will we see another Helsinki style race for race improvement? We will find out tomorrow – the weather forecast calls for light winds and lots of sun…

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