On July 10-11 NYC hosted Round Five of the SL-VT Qualifying series to chose two more skippers for the upcoming SL-VT grid-wide finals in August.
I’ve already reported on the first two races. Let’s catch up with Race Three!
Race Three: Glorfindel Arrow and Carmen Foden
The moment the Clock began it’s countdown, Carmen pulled out her boxing gloves and began sparring with Glorfindel; believe me, Glorf gave as good as he got.
Maybe boxing isn’t the best analogy here, though; the skill, timing, and humor of the Match Race three-minute, pre-start two-step is more like a Tango. While watching Carmen and Glorf weave back and forth, Amythest Wingtips called it “the dance of love,” and wow, I think Amy got it right. 🙂
Anywayz, Glorfindel and Carmen traded some pretty fancy kisses behind the raceline for two and a half minutes, as the duo moved inexorably closer to the Start.
Here’s what the spectators heard in those final seconds:
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: SLSA Raceline: 30 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: Carmen Foden: lee
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: SLSA Raceline: 20 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:09] Elizabet Foxtrot: she’s puching
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 15 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: Glorfindel Arrow is over early! Go around the buoy and recross !
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 10
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 9
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 8
[2010/07/11 9:10] Elizabet Foxtrot: got him
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 7
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: Carmen Foden: protest
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 6
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 5
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 4
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 3
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 2
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 1
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: RACE STARTED
[2010/07/11 9:12] Angus Firethorn: Dont you guys think thats a little dirty forcing him over the line like that??
[2010/07/11 9:12] Gemma Vuckovic: nope …
[2010/07/11 9:12] diamond Marchant: all is fair in love and sailing…
[2010/07/11 9:13] don Berithos: this is the Vuitton. All gloves are off!
I was high overhead, watching the action from the next sim. That’s a great place to get the overview, but I missed the the details… and I admit the details in this race were critical. Luckily there was a full house watching the race, and I had a chance to chat with Amythest Wingtips, who won Round Two of SL-VT. She was watching from the spectator box over the Startline, and presumably checking out her future competition. Here’s our conversation:
[9:18:13] Jane Fossett: In the third race Glorf was over early… and Angus (Firethorn) commented that Carmen forced him over.
[9:19:08] Amythest Wingtips: She did
[9:19:23] Jane Fossett: How’d she do that?… Sumo Wrestling?
[9:19:55] Amythest Wingtips: He was next to her on the port side, she moved to port [towards the line], forcing him to cross.
He had 3 choices:
1. Cross the line early,
2. Hit her, or
3. Stop and let her go first.
[9:20:31] Jane Fossett: Beautiful! Elizabet’s comment now makes sense; Elizabet said Carmen ‘puched.’
I actually didnt think Carmen ‘puked;’ so you agree she ‘pushed’ Glorf.
[9:22:09] Amythest Wingtips: Lol; [Carmen] moved over, closer to the line, but since [Glorfindel] was already there,
he had to move across the line to not hit her.
So in a sense it was pushing, although they never really touched.
[9:22:57] Jane Fossett: that’s the whole idea; I love it.
After he was ‘pushed over,’ Glorfindel quickly turned and recrossed the line, still ahead of Carmen. Unfortunately in the heat of the moment, he forgot to go around one of the Startline buoys. Following the race, the judges determined Glorf was DSQ.
When I interviewed Glorfindel afterward, he most graciously admitted committing a silly error in not rounding a Start buoy, and acknowledged Carmen had adroitly pushed him over the line, using the rules to force him into the situation. (What a gentleman!)
However, rather remarkably, Glorf attributed his Start line duel defeat to a poor tactical decision he made a few chess moves earlier that laid the scenario, allowing Carmen to put him in ‘Check.’
Wow. Think about that. I talk to many sailors about race outcomes… they usually say ” NN cheated, or in a gangster-tone they comment “I Wuz Robbed.” 🙂
That wasn’t Glorf and Carmen… they were playing chess… they were thinking ahead… and omg… They were Match Racing. WOOTS!
Yesterday I commented that Sunday’s races brought this competition to an entirely new level. Carmen and Glorfindel proved that in spades in Race Three. Even before the Start gun sounded, they had moved far beyond a simple boat race; they were playing chess… dueling, having fun, and planning several moves ahead.
I was originally going to bypass discussing this race at all, since it ended with a start line rules decision; the race was over before it began. But… OMG, look what actually happened.:-)
Carmen played pre-start tactics as well as I’ve EVER seen them done in real life, let alone SL. And Glorfindel? He saw it coming and danced with her toe-to-toe.
It’s a level of match sailing I haven’t seen for three years, since Armchair, M1sha, and Hans faced-off in Tako Cup 2007.
Thank you, THANK-YOU, Glorfindel and Carmen!
Phew! Tomorrow I’ll add the final three races!