>Beware of the black flag

>The Laser fleet managed to squeeze in one race to complete the qualifying series. We sailed in an unstable and challenging offshore breeze. With only one race scheduled, everyone was pushing hard all the way around the race course. A total of sixteen black flags today made starting very difficult and risky to be in the front row. After getting off the starting line, long wind shifts rewarded the boats that could jump out in front.

I managed to keep myself out of trouble and got off the line ahead of my pack. Free to go anywhere I wanted, the game plan was to head left toward open water and what appeared to be stronger breeze. There was only a small wind shift left, but it was enough to cross most of the fleet and round the windward mark in the top ten. The same patchy breeze and wind shifts made for many lead changes downwind. At the bottom of the race course I had held my position. For the remainder of the race, I protected the left side of the race course. It felt great to follow my game plan for today and finish the race in 7th.

Today I took another jump up the results to 44th place. After a very tough day 1, I have sailed four very solid races and will be in the gold fleet tomorrow. The competition will be tougher and I look forward to carrying my momentum into the final two days of racing.

-Kyle

Kyle Rogachenko is on the US Sailing Development Team and has a full European schedule in 2011.  Follow him at http://www.kylerogachenko.com/  Excerpt from site

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