In-port racing in Abu Dhabi ~ the girls were on fire!

We had in-port racing today, inside the harbor at Abu Dhabi. It was a beautiful day with three races set in sunny, 8-10 knots. Our first race was a bit of a warm-up, as we got off the line slow, and didn’t get a lane to go to the favored side. The next two races we ended up in fourth, and fifth place. The girls were on fire! They have really taken to heart the coaching, and the debrief we had from our previous legs, and in-port race. They did a great job today, and it was really heartening to see their progress. This year both Intisar and Tahira are trimming, and are completely responsible, with just oversight from us coaches – but it is them doing the job. The same with Raiya, who is on bow. Bow is a tough job – tons of lines and maneuvers to manage, and she is taking it on. Eptisam was in the pit today, and was so attentive to all the voices making demands on adjustments of the controls she was in charge of… And Tahira, who is normally a trimmer, got moved to a floater position. She was tasked with making sure the spinnaker was down in the boat when we had to round the leeward mark, and head back upwind. This had been an issue from the previous in port race… She was terrific – and worked her tail off!

Our girls working in-port race at AbuDhabi

Our girls in-port racing at Abu DhabiThese girls are taking it on, and are improving all the time. Some of the remaining challenges include continuing to get them to eat, and even more difficult – to drink water. It is noticeable when they don’t, as concentration ebbs… But we have changed the sandwiches to rolls with cucumber and hummus, or chicken, cheese and hummus – so that appears to be more desirable. Still have to work on the water…

Kids watching in-port racing in Abu Dhabi

These boys had the opportunity to see the only all-female crew – Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat – in the fleet racing equally against the men’s teams. (Click on photo to read SATT article)

Tomorrow we’re off the dock at 6 am, with a 6:30 am start. The goal is to be in Dubai by dark. With the current forecast we should be there by 6 pm, which means hurrying to the hotel, eat, debrief and then up the next morning to race to Ras Al Khaimah. A whirlwind! It is a shame as I would have liked to have seen Dubai, but never mind – another time!


Photos by Lloyd Images