Morgan and Kevins regatta report hotline
Special Report - Monday, October 25, 1999
- 49er Nationals report #5
Over the last nine days Kevin and I have poured every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into sailing our 49er against America's best. Today we entered the final four of 22 races with a five point deficit behind The McKee brothers from Seattle. These two have been our nemesis throughout the last three years of racing. Our goal was to match race them hard at the start, either trying to draw a foul or make sure they had a bad start.
In race one we luffed them with 20 seconds to start, they fell behind and we were off to a good start. We rounded the first mark in 2nd with the McKee's in 4th. With some great down wind sailing (in the rough 18 knots of wind) we took the lead and finished 1st. The McKee's made their way to 2nd. Now three races to go and four points behind we still had our work to do.
Race #2 we forced them into a tight pack of boats after some dueling at the start. Coming into Mark 1 they tacked in front of us and we crashed into them! Now they had to do a 360 degree turn, a tough task in a 49er in these conditions. We took another win and again the McKee's battled from 6th back to 2nd. Now two races to go and three points to make up. It wasn't looking like we would get any help from the fleet as the McKee's were able to always battle back to a 2nd.
We decided to get more aggressive! With two minutes to go we pinned the McKee's away from the line and well to leeward. At the gun we broke away and fled to the right with the McKee's well behind. This looked to be our chance as the course was shorter giving us a better opportunity for someone to hang on behind us helping us gain points on the leader. Now the wind starts to get very unstable with puffs of 18 knots and lulls of five knots. We got stuck in a light spot and watched them sail around us and into the lead. If they beat us in this race the regatta was over (due to the amount of throw outs). This is where the experience and great sailing by Jonathan and Charlie McKee showed. They sailed away from us to never look back and now are on their way to Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games.
After three great years of sailing together Kevin Hall and myself can only look back at the memories, people we met, and the great places we have been. This has been by far the best sailing of my life and I will never forget it. There were many highs and lows that we went through together and Kevin always helped me learn from every experience and I am very lucky to have sailed with him. Now we both are headed to Auckland, NZ to sail with the AmericaOne team and help bring the Cup back to San Francisco. The next few months will bring new challenges that I look forward to.
I want to thank everyone who has helped along our road to where we stand now. UltraNectar and Ronstan were early supporters and kept us going all the way through. West Marine came on board in the end to help us with our final push. Everyone at the Santa Cruz and St. Francis Yacht Clubs have given us support. Our great coaches, Luther Carpenter and Zack Leonard for leading us down the right path every time! Philippe and Sonya Kahn, you have been amazing! We will never forget what you have done for us. Randy Repass and Sally Christine Rogers have always been there for me and continue to make our sailing more fun! Lastly to all of our family and friends who have been there for us everyday. We will now focus our efforts on making sure our teammates and great friends, Jonathan and Charlie McKee go on to win a Gold Medal for the United States. We will most likely train and race with them in the spring in Mexico and Europe and back in the US. Congratulations on an amazing series boys!
AmericaOne Sailing Team
Special Report - Friday, October 22, 1999 - 49er Nationals report #4
Hello from Florida,
Today the race committee had us scheduled for a 8:30 am start. This meant a 6am wake up and a 7:30 dock start. The only problem they didn't think about was sunrise was at 7:30 and with the rain it was too dark to sail without lights! So, with a 15 minute shore side postponement we hit the water. A small cold front took temperatures down into the 70's! After weeks of 90+ we were excited and this also meant for a good Northerly breeze. With the current against the wind we there was a pretty mean wave pattern that caused anyone asleep at the wheel to nose dive and capsize.
These were our conditions so a conservative start was in order.... Well, with that said I managed to put us over the line early and then foul another competitor! oops.... We ducked back across the line did our penalty turn and took off to pass everyone we could. Kevin did a great job of putting us in some good shifts and we glided through the fleet for a 3rd. From there we posted a 1,2,3. The boys from Seattle did a great job to finish a 1,3,11 for the day and take the series lead from us by one point! 12 more races scheduled over the next three days. We have our work cut out and are ready to grab the lead back. Thanks for your ears.
Adios from Morgan, Kevin and our great coach Zack Leonard.
1 Mckee/Mckee -4 2 1 3 3 1 3 1 1 total of 15
2 Larson/Hall 3 1 2 -4 1 3 1 2 3 16
3 Mack/Lowry 21 4 Renehan/Lanzinger 25
Special Report - Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 49er Nationals report #3
We awoke to a building easterly this morning, and had high hopes for at least two races before it died. Sailing "two-strings" (both on the trapeze because there's enough wind) out to the start line we took wind readings and even considered pulling the vang on a little bit. By the start however Kevin had to decide whether to trapeze off the wing or the edge of the hull. We decided while sitting around all day yesterday that there's a strong possibility of more days with very few races, and that a good way to look at the regatta from here would be to plan to win each day, if only by one point. Today that meant starting at the pin - in the chop starboard was much worse than port and this would allow us to foot, plus give us the advantage of being further up the starboard track at the gun. We won the pin, tacked 3/4 of the way to layline, sailed most of the way across the beat on a decent angle, stepped up to the port layline to shut it down and rounded first, and far enough ahead to gybe when we wanted and extend our lead. The next beat saw Kevin sitting on the wing as the wind continued to die. The committee shortened the beat some, presumably now worried about the time limit. With good speed and by staying in phase we extended on the beat and the run, and again the final beat was shortened. Now Kevin was sitting in the boat while Morgan trapezed all the way forward on the wing, most of the time crouched. As we approached the final windward mark it was clear we were racing the clock to make the time limit and ensure that the race count. A few little puffs and the odd surf on the leftover chop got us to the finish with a few minutes to spare. The committee started the sequence for race two, our plan was again to start at the pin, but with about 2 minutes to go they postponed, then sent us in. We hosed the boat and hurried back to the A/C and comfort of our house, where Olympic coaches Gary Bodie and Luther Carpenter met us for a competitive game of hearts with the Salvador Dali cards acquired at the St. Petersburg Dali museum. Hearts isn't just a way to pass time, it's a great way to keep the tactical mind active so when race time comes back around, we're good to go. At two the committee sent us out onto a glassy Tampa Bay, having heard reports that the onshore westerly had filled on the coast. Our month of training here told us to bring the big hats, because with a very light easterly flow remaining from the morning, the odds of the westerly making it were slim. We sat out there for 3 hours, contemplating the knot of current, while some swam with the jellyfish, others staying near the coach boat with the good stereo, and still others circled the spectator boats with the bikinis. When it was looking like a retreat to the dock was impending, we readied our tow so we could be first to the ramp, which we were. Today is a mandatory layday, despite the 7 races we're behind, so we'll go over the bottom and the rig then maybe catch a movie. Leading by two points doesn't mean much at this stage, other than if we stick to our plan of winning each day's battle we are sure to win the war. You can probably tell we're a little bored, trying to make it sound exciting down here in the land of 100% humidity... the trick is to not get frustrated too.
Here is the page with the current standings in the trials: http://www.spyc.org/OneDesign/OlympicTrials/Results.htm
Results after 5 races
1 Larson/Hall 7
2 McKee/McKee 9
3 Lanzinger/Renehen 10
4 Mack/Lowry 10
Special Report - Sunday, October 17, 1999 - 49er Nationals report #2
today was a beauty.... We came away still tied for 1st! (with the whole fleet).... Hurricane Irene was on a direct track from Havana, Cuba to St. Petersburg, Florida. The regatta organizers panicked and postponed racing for today, so we sit and look out at the beautiful bay with 15-20 knot winds blowing on an empty ocean. "Irene" had made a move to the East and gave Miami and Eastern Florida some rough weather.
Here at our base on 12th st NE in St. Petersburg Kevin and coach Zack and I are resting up, watching some movies, playing cards and waiting for tomorrow. This weeks schedule now has us set for 4 races a day for the next three days and then 3 per day after that. With one day break in the middle we will finish up on the 24th after 24 races. More news tomorrow...
Yesterday we received tragic news. Our dear friend and the guy who was donating a a week of his time to help us drive our truck and boats back from the Trials passed away yesterday. Glenn Viguers of Santa Cruz died of a brain tumor that had struck him just a few days ago. He battled hard but there was nothing he or anyone could do. We send our thoughts back to his son Adam and all of his family and friends. We will miss you "duck."...
AmericaOne Sailing Team
After an exciting day of hearts, reading, socializing, and hanging out in the A/C, the powers that be decided there was enough wind for the 470s to race, but not the 49ers, so we remain in a four way tie for first. The hearts did go well, with Kevin shooting the moon twice in the first three hands to win by 60 points. Maybe we'll be dealt similar hands tomorrow. Off to the gym to expend some nervous energy.
With luck there will be more to report tomorrow!
AmericaOne Sailing Team
About The Challenge
Special Report - Friday, October 15, 1999 - 49er Nationals report #1
Greetings race fans,
After a windless day yesterday the 49er fleet regrouped at St. Pete Sailing Center for a much more promising day 2 at 8:00 AM this morning. The breeze cooperated, arriving early and staying late, allowing the fleet to complete four races by 1:00 PM.
Morgan and Kevin have been training hard in St. Pete for most of the past month, so the fickle breezes and hot sun are old hat. Morgan and Kevin have spent most of the past month honing speed and equipment in preparation for next weeks Olympic trials, but this National Championship is an important shakedown and a final chance to asses the competition and get the kinks out before the big event.
Race 1: The young, up and coming, team of Andy Mack and Adam Lowery won the pin and sailed away from the fleet while the rest of the pack pinched and faught in the middle of the course. Morgan and Kevin started in the middle of the line and positioned themselves for a conservative beat, sussing out the course and breeze before making as aggressive a move as Mack. Morgan and Kevin sailed the middle and rounded the first mark second, held that position with solid tactics and boat handling while the arch rival team of McKee and McKee followed them around in 3rd.
Race 2: "Go left young man" After Mack and Lowery won the race easily playing the deep left corner Mckees and Morgan and Kevin took a little more interest in that part of the line. Again Mack won the pin, with Mckee 1 boatlength up and Morgan and kevin two boat lengths above them. Mckees were more focussed on trying to pinch off our compadres than winning the course. They pinched hard all the way out to the left,eventually leebowing Morgan and Kevin and forcing them to tack, but Mack crossed well ahead of McKee as all the pinching had slowed both teams. Mack rounded first, McKees second, and Morgan and Kevin a close third, but the positions held all the way around.
Race 3: "Morgan gets tough" After watching Mack win the first two races at the pin Morgan decided it was his turn, unfortunately the wind spurned him and for the first time the left was not radically favored, Morgan and Kevin rounded in 5th, on the heels of the McKees and just behind Mack. The whole fleet rounded tight at the first mark as the right had come in strong bringing some of the slower boats up to the front. After a nice set our boys were in position to pass McKees on the jibe, when bang, the new spinnaker sheets caused problems, slowing the jibe and allowing McKees to escape the noose. After a hectic leeward mark, the boys finished 5th, two behind mckees and one ahead of Mack.
Race 4: "Good things come to those who wait" After a long wait the boys finally won one for the coach. I was beginning to get bored when the rust from a month of mostly tuning started to wear out and everything clicked. Morgan positioned the boat near the middle of the line and sailed a conservative but controlling beat to round fist, then the boys extended around the course.
Look forward to more.
Zach Leonard is coaching AmericaOne Sailing Team members, Morgan Larson and Kevin Hall. He is also a freelance writer for Sail and Sailing World.
Morgan and Kevins regatta report hotline
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