Wow, big day for us today at the Rolex Miami OCR but we’re through to the semi finals :)
The regatta started on Monday, though strangely we began with a lay-day as Group A raced all day. Tuesday was our turn, and it was a long day on the water as we competed in both the first and the last of the 11 flights sailed by Group B. Six races in all for us, bit of an average start but an OK day with four wins and two losses.
Group A were out again first yesterday to complete their round robin, with Sally Barkow (USA), Silja Lehtinen (FIN), Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) making it through to the quarter finals. There’s a change of format this year at the World Cup events, with two groups of 12 instead of three groups of 8. The top 4 from each group then go straight into to the quarters, making it a pretty big cut with no second chances of progressing through a repechage round.
Yesterday we only did two races, first a win over Olivia Price (AUS), but then lost to Julie Bossard (FRA) which was pretty disappointing. A stupid mistake early on, we were both over the line early and I took the most ridiculous way to get back behind the line and ended up with too big a distance to try and catch up.
We’d been struggling a bit with a couple of little things in the boat over the last couple of days, but had a great day today. We had three races left to complete our round robin, and the results were really tight at the top. A good start to the day saw us with two wins against the Dutch teams of Renee Groeneveld and Mandy Mulder. With one flight to go to complete Group B there were six teams all pretty much tied on points with only the top 4 to advance. Our crucial final match was against Claire Leroy (FRA) and proved to be a typically close contest, but we just managed to get to the finish line ahead to make it three wins out of three and in fact to win the round robin. Had we lost to Claire however, I don’t think we’d have made the quarters on the tie-break, as indeed the French team didn’t.
Due to a breakdown we had a bit of a wait while the other three quarter finals were held, before we were on against the 4th place finisher from Group A — our adversary from the World Championship finals in Perth just a month ago — Anna Tunnicliffe. The 0–4 score line from our last encounter belied the closeness of the racing, and this time around was no exception either. Today we were starting really well against them and in fact in the first two matches we were leading her the whole way round the course only to get rolled at the finish line. Two-nil down in a first to three wins match is never a great place to be, but we had confidence and dug deep to turn it around, kept on doing what we were doing well and worked out how to defend her a little bit better, and delivered three straight wins to advance to the semis.
It’s really good to have got through the quarter-finals, it is always a massive sigh of relief because it’s such a big cut and everyone racing in the quarters is good — Anna’s the World Champion and we meet her in the quarters. It’s a really tough stage and a relief to get through it! A pleasing end to a pretty tough day :)
Tomorrow we’re up against Silja Lehtinen’s team from Finland, follow the action on Twitter @RMOCR_CourseE or at matchracingresults.com.
Lucy, Annie & Kate x