Racing started on the 23rd with very light winds. We were able to get off 2 races and I was immediately in the hunt for a medal. With a huge tropical storm bearing down upon us here in Veracruz, it was important to get to the top of the leaderboard, just in case things got bad and racing was to be cancelled. There was a forecast to see winds in the 65 knot range, which could easily destroy boats that were not tied down properly. 2 days were expected to be lost due to high winds and the inability to sail.
On day 2 we were scheduled for 3 races trying to make up for the upcoming missed days of sailing. The breeze was up and I was ready to go. I had a great day starting off with a race win, followed by a 2nd. In the last race, the breeze was in the 25knot range, and I was able to get off the line and make it to the front of the pack immediately. I took that race win as well, and took the lead in the event.
Racing was then cancelled for the following day and we resumed racing on the 26th. There was some minor damage to some of the fleet, but not enough to keep us from racing. I battled it out with Juani Maegli from Guatemala trading a race win and a 2nd.
On the 27th I knew that it would come down to these last 2 races. I had a plan, but knew that it would be hard to execute with the shifty conditions on the race course. I needed to luff him at the start, (which I did) and then hit the line with pace. I still needed a good race and for him to have a finish worse than his discard race, which was a 2nd. With the shifty conditions, it was hard to match race on boat while still trying to manage the fleet. He came away with the race win and I took a 3rd. On the 2nd race of the day, he knew that I was going to try and attack him at the start, so he positioned himself between 2 boats on the line and I never had a chance to get to him. He was able to take the race win and from there it was over.
He had won the Gold and I was going home with the Silver. We each had acquired enough of a gap on our competitors that the final race of the regatta on the 28th was not necessary for us to sail.
I’m very happy that I was able to come home with a Silver Medal for the Virgin Islands, but really wanted that GOLD.
Thanks to all my Supporters. It’s been fun. 3am taxi to the airport. Love doing these events for the Virgin Islands and what a Great Team we had here.
Phillip Shannon, Max Nickbarg, Taylor Canfield, Bill Canfield, Paige Clarke, Peter Stanton and Addison Caproni.
Photo Credits: Athneil Bobby Thomas