Friday, January 27, 2017

The Orange Bowl Regatta-Jack Baldwin

The Orange Bowl Regatta

Jack Baldwin USA17853

Chicago Yacht Club Opti-Red 

The CYC Optimist Race Team had the opportunity to go to Miami, Florida for the Orange Bowl Regatta this past December at the Coral Reef Yacht Club. This was my second year sailing in this event, and as in years past it was full of talented competition from across the USA, with many international sailors as well.  

The winds on day one were light, and hovered around 7 knots with a few puffs, while the current in Biscayne Bay was very strong. These conditions pushed many sailors over the line and a third of the entire fleet was black flagged in race two, myself included. I found at day’s end I had one of my worst regatta starts ever with two black flags and a mid-fleet finish on race three.

Day two started slow, with even less wind which resulted in an on-land morning postponement. By 10 am we were launched and able to get off three races. The wind was shifty and light, and the key to success was tacking on the lifts and staying one step ahead of everyone else. My results at the end of this light day were not what I wanted, but after a talk with my coach, Hector, I had a new perspective. I was not going to worry about my score and instead I was going to learn from this regatta, push the line, and sail with the best of the fleet. 

Day three brought more disappointment with a wind forecast of 1-2 knots all day. The Chicago Team spent time meeting with our coaches and in the Coral Reef pool trying to stay cool through the postponement. After lunch, racing was finally called off for the day, but a front was coming in and the forecast for day 4 had us excited to see some great wind.

The fleet was split into silver and gold fleets for the final day. Everyone was ready for more breeze, and with a steady 16-18 knots of wind, it was a perfect day for sailing. I stuck with my coach’s philosophy of pushing the line and using Orange Bowl as a learning regatta. I quit thinking about where I would place and I tried to sail in the front of the fleet. In winds like this I was really hiking out and doing my best keep my boat as flat as possible. My results on this day were much better, but more importantly I learned that sometimes I can let go of my scores and just learn. I can’t wait for Orange Bowl 2017!
Jack Baldwin

Coach Hector, Christian, Charlie, Dina, Madeline, Peter, Annie, Avery, Jack, Coach Julia


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