On The Podium
June 13th, 2016
This past weekend Riptide Racing landed in Bermuda to gain some practice on the M32 ahead of the 2016 World Match Racing Tour. With only 3 days ever on a catamaran before reaching Bermuda, the team set realistic expectations for our results. We decided our focus would be to learn as much as possible from the other teams at the event and build our comfort racing multi-hulls. With just a brief introduction to the M32 at the M32 Youth Academy in Chicago last fall, we dove in head first (with helmets!) to the future of sailing against some of the best teams in the world.
The wind was blowing 10-15kts out of the northeast with a diminishing forecast all day. The team got rigged and headed out to the race course where we were greeted by three America’s Cup teams out training. Pretty amazing to know you’re racing with the America’s Cup teams on the exact same body of water (although they seemed a bit faster!) Once the course was set, the Race Committee wasted no time getting us racing. They fired off 8 races in 3 1/2 hours! - something that would never be possible in any keel boat class. We took it easy on the starts, sailing conservatively and looking to build confidence before getting into the mix with the top teams. But, by race 2 we found ourselves finishing 2nd, just behind World Champion Taylor Canfield and ahead of 6-time World Champion, Ian Williams. With a serious boost in our confidence, we went on to win race 3 by a good margin. For the rest of the day we tried to maintain consistency in our finishes, but the dying breeze meant lots of shifting gears and we finished the day with a 5,2,1,4,5,7,4,5 scorecard. This was significantly better that we had envisioned and we found ourselves in 5th place overall.
The forecast was much lighter than Day 1, but light air is no issue for the M32 – you can race these boats in next to nothing. We headed out to the race course and just as the sun started to come out, the wind came up on cue to deliver perfect racing conditions. The breeze was in the ideal range to make for very tactical racing, including frequent calls on whether or not to use the gennaker on the upwind legs. Riptide found the groove and made on-point calls for the head sail. We also found a new gear on Day 2, unlocking our boat speed which showed us that we can compete with the best… and beat them as well.
After six races on Day 2, the team posted a scorecard of 5,2,2,3,3,2 which was enough to climb to 3rd overall. This result far exceeded our expectations. While the overall result is fantastic, we are most proud of our Day 2 scorecard- consistency that demonstrates that Riptide Racing can race and do well in the M32.
Day Two Results
1st- GAC Pindar 15 points
2nd- US One 16 points
3rd- Riptide Racing 17 points
Considering our limited experience in multi-hulls, to share the podium with Ian Williams (6 Time World Match Race Champion) and Taylor Canfield (M32 Champion and World Match Race Champion) is unreal. The team is fired up and ready for more. Now that we’ve proved we can compete at this level, in the fastest boats against the world’s best, we are working full-time to find and partner with a sponsor. It is our goal to obtain sponsorship to finance our own M32 which would allow us to train full-time. With our intended dedication to the program, there is no doubt that Riptide Racing will be at the World Match Racing Tour Finals in Sweden.
THANK YOU to all of our supporters who have believed in Riptide Racing and stood behind us 100%. We still have a long way to go, but we couldn’t have gotten this far without support, for which we’re forever grateful. What we showed in Bermuda is just the beginning of Riptide Racing’s potential –with the necessary tools, we have the capacity to go all the way.