Team Isigungu On Olympic High
Dominique Provoyeur (Team Manager/Skipper) of the all-girls’ Sailing Team Isigungu has written again with her report on how they steered their Yngling-class boat to 2008 Olympic qualification:
Well, you might have already heard but after a very long day on the water yesterday (over 7 hours) we are so excited to say we secured a spot for SA at the Games.
After being in protests with Finland, China, France and Greece the night before, and getting disqualified from the last race, we knew we had to work hard in the final race.
We were 3 points behind Finland and 11 and 13 points ahead of France and Greece respectively, with only place for 2 of the 4 countries left to qualify.
The racing was initially delayed on shore due to lack of wind so we all waited on the boats for the flag to go up so we could leave the harbour. We eventually got out there and the first start got away shortly after 1pm.
The first start was a general recall (partly due to us pulling the fleet over when we realised that we weren’t going to make it. With 50sec to go and decided to go forward and circle the committee boat for a clear start).
I think our plan would have worked as we actually came round to cross the line in clear air and good time. After the general recall the race got off with only the single recall flag going up.
We thought we were close and it was a bit tense going up the first beat but we were relieved to not see our names on the board at the top mark. Three boats were over and withdrew from the race.
The race was not going that well for us but we were fighting hard to hang onto the points we needed. Then about half way through the second run, and after a huge wind shift of about 90′, the race committee abandoned the race.
After that the wind again died followed by some radical wind shifts backwards and forwards. The race committee had until dark to get the race in and so we waited, moving courses twice to try and get more steady wind.
A further attempt was made to get the race underway but was again abandoned 3 minutes into the starting sequence due to another big wind shift of 30′.
We had some mixed feelings on board because we knew that if they didn’t get a race in the results would stand and we would qualify, but by then it was only 4pm so there was still at least another 3-4 hours of daylight.
Well, to cut a long story short the wind finally settled down and we got off to a clean start at around 5pm. We had the race of our lives and eventually crossed the line in a comfortable first place.
We could not have asked for a better way to finish the regatta and to secure the qualification than to win the final qualifying race.
I would like to thank you for your continued support and we will keep the news coming as we start the next leg of our preparations for Beijing next year.
Kim, Dom and Penny