19th of January, 2017

Quantum Key West Race Week – Day 3 Dockside Talk

After today’s racing, we caught up with some of the sailors along the dock. Here’s what they said:

Peter Holmberg (USVI) helm Provezza (TUR):

“I am fitting in and getting used to the guys and them getting used to me. Today was a very, very tricky day. I say hats off today to our tactician Tony Rey for keeping his cool. The boat is going well and as long as we hang through the tough spots then we can be alright.

I sailed a long time ago with Tony Rey in match racing and big boats and so we have remained good friends. I am not surprised at all we get along so well in the boat.
It works well in the start. He tells me what he wants, in the first start he wanted the left and wanted the pin and so the priority is getting the left and that means able to sail on starboard, if I can get the pin as well then that is the bonus. He is clear with me and I just assess the risk to go get that and it has been getting better every day.
I can count the two points we lost today (laughs) but I said today when we were going out that this is a big day and we want to come out if it feeling alright. It was a big day and we did well and now we are in the top half and that is good.

It is a light air and today was my first taste of it with this boat. I was happy with it, the boat felt good. I think they have to be very careful telling me what to expect. I don’t want to know. I want to feel the boat for what it is, a boat. I think we can lock into preconceptions of what are slow or fast boats. I don’t look at the instruments very often. I feel it like it is a little Finn dinghy.

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA/ARG):

“I think we can come away from today saying this is the best class in the world. Everybody can win races. And the bad thing is that from my point of view the tactician’s job is getting harder all the time because of that. We need to be happy to be leading after more than half of the championship. We are good enough to stay in this fleet and if we sail like this we can hope for a good result at the end of the season.”

Ian Walker (GBR) helmsman Interlodge (USA):

“We had two really good wins today I am really pleased, especially with the second one because we dropped back to third and got back into the lead. It was disappointing in the third race to be third at the top mark and fall back to eighth. It is a new boat and a new team and so when the windspeed changes we are a bit slow to make the modifications and so there is lots for us to learn.

It has been a while since I steered a TP52 and I have never steered one with a tiller before, but we are getting better. We have made nearly all good starts. All but one start has been clean but for the one penalty, but that is my main job, getting off the line. But we have good people and they are looking after me well. The starts are tight. And it is interesting having been tactician in the fleet last year and suddenly now you have the tiller in your hand and you have no excuse. You think you know it all when you are not doing it, then here you have to do it and the buck stops with you.”

Morgan Larson, tactician, Bronenosec:

As the coaches said, every race we’ve done one thing to shoot ourselves in the foot. That’s a lot of point. Every time it was six points.

Trouble at the leeward mark in Race 3?

Umpire call. It could’ve gone either way. We were strong coming into it but we probably dropped the chute a little early, we could’ve just hung onto it a little longer. Even tough Azzurra technically had room they couldn’t really get to us so we just needed to get around the mark. But we dropped the chute, slowed up enough to allow them a chance for the penalty. A lot of little things like that. I’m optimistic about it all. New team for me and communications…new challenges that we gotta get through, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get there.

The speed team is doing a great job up and we’re placing the boat in the right spots, we just have to figure out how to convert that on the runs. I don’t think it was necessarily a speed situation but just we didn’t position ourselves to be able to take advantage of it. I was maybe a little reactive in one of those runs so I overcompensated on that final run and coughed up a couple of points.

We actually made a gain out of it, it’s just that I was a little conservative and took the gain instead of going all the way to layline. If we’d gone all the way it would’ve been great. It’s learning how to take your gins and when to lay it out there.

There was that [wind going from underpowering to overpowering conditions]. It was kind of a cell-y, shear-y day. It was a challenge for everybody and I think we’ll see more of that tomorrow.

Terry Hutchinson, tactician, Quantum Racing:

I think the mistake would be to not rehash it. You generally learn the most when you get your teeth kicked in. And that happened today in a big way.

In Race 1, we had an exchange at the top mark where a little more time with Doug and I we’d not make the same mistake twice. And that set up the whole chain of events. We actually got back into the race quite nicely in Race 1 and then the umpire said we hit the bottom mark. Their word is law on the water, so we had a do a penalty turn and we still managed to pass three boats. Race 2 we got a bad start and went right in the only right shift of the first beat. The breeze went left and we clawed back to a sixth or a seventh there. In the last race we got a great start, not great start but a good enough start, and basically poor tactics, poor decision-making. And that’s no more complicated than looking in the mirror. Everybody out there is very good and each decision and each time you tack the boat there’s a component of uncertainty and I just, in the very short sharp world of making good and bad decisions I just have to trust my instincts a little more.

I look at each race individually and make sure I can identify in each race where we made mistakes. That’s the most important thing in the world of getting better. If we don’t analyse the mistakes we’ll never get better.

Most of the time you kind of know [what went wrong in a bad race]. As I said to the troops on the way in, that was a pretty low tactical standard. So plain and simple I just need to do my job better. That’s an easy thing, we can control that. It’s quite disappointing.

But you’re still in the game, 8 points out of first.

That’s not nearly as bad as it should be. That’s the beauty of the team, we’ll get up tomorrow, it’ll be a new day and we’ll come out ready for another street fight. We just got to have the mental toughness and the trust to do that properly.

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Key West Race Week