January 21, 2015

Key West Race Week Day 3 | Ullman Sails Team USA 32

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USA 32 (Latis Racing) skippered by Doug Mclean from California Yacht Club report from day three at Key West Race Week.

Light winds plagued all three courses and the racing finally commenced around 12:30.  We managed to go upwind with Jud Smith, the current overall leader, and felt pretty good.  The start was again hectic and we managed to get a good lane out on port tack.  This looked good for a while before the left came in and we lost a few boats.  We were close with Heartbreaker in about 12th and had some work to do if we were to stay in the hunt.  We worked a little deeper and had a good lane to stay in the pressure that was still on the left side.

We rounded the right gate with Helly Hansen just behind.  We were struggling with a little bad air from the spinnakers above us but we pushed through into new pressure and picked off a few boats on this leg.  After a clean mark rounding it was important to stay in the pressure and pick a good time to head across the course.  We chose to go a little further and it paid as we managed to pass Perseverance on the way to a seventh place to keep us in fourth and in touching distance.  Still a lot of racing to go and with a big fleet like this anything can happen.

Erik Shampain: "Today was a good day on the water and it paid to have good maneuvers and stay consistent.    It was a new wind direction from the North which presented new challenges.  This made tacticians rethink the game plan and getting out early to asses helped immensely.  The pressure was generally better on the left which favored those who were willing to push the left edge the furthest."

Greg Koski: "Our pre start game plan was put in place and sticking to it helped minimize mistakes which lead to another top ten finish.  Pretty much in a nutshell it was sticking to our guns and staying confident that this was the right call."

Keith Magnussen:  "Boat mechanics played a big role in keeping the boat moving fast forward.  Changing gears varies from boat to boat and in the 70 it is important to work as a team and keep the correct heel in the light air.  We worked hard on this as I am a firm believer that proper crew weight distribution can gain valuable boat lengths on the course.  Our tactics and big fleet management were solid so we kept ourselves in the game.:

Keith Magnussen, Erik Shampain, Doug Mclean