5 races tonight in light to medium winds (10-16k) with a ebb tide kicking in towards the end of the evening. I rigged my 11.0 and r12 debocheit m+ fin for the best light wind performance. One thing I notices right away was my upwind performance has gotten better since the nationals last week. I had our local board guru Mike Z put in a carbon shim in my fin box to ensure a better fit. This on top of some good upwind hiking was good enough to get me second behind Rob Hartman.
Race 1- started out near the 'B' and got off the line clean, rounding in the top 4 and immediately gybed to get out into the wind line. I sat there for a while waiting for the wind to fill and immediately started pumping to get up on a plane. I was able to sneak around a few people but Bill ended up staying in front of me to finish in 2nd.
Race 2- Much better off the line towards 'A' where there was more wind. I got off the line clean with clear air and immediately shot out in front of Rob where I was the first to call the layline. I tacked and Rob did as well a few board lengths below me but with the ebb he made it around first and it was staying in 2nd from there to the finish.
Race 3-I tried the same approach of starting further down the line just to get off with some speed and clear air. It seems in the light stuff this is the most important thing!
I was kind of guessing about the time as I forgot my watch but so I was a few seconds off the actual mark. Rob, and Al made it to the top mark before me and kept their position to the finish. I had to battle off the rest of the fleet to the finish where we had some tight racing. Jean was just in front of me on the last reach to the finish line and blew up 100m from the finish line letting Bill and I pass him. Thanks again Jean!
Race 4- Not quite the advantage on further down the line than before as a nice puff came through 30 sec before the start giving the guys on the inside a good lift before I got any of it! Anyways I knew this would be my throw out as I was already deep and not making good calls on the laylines giving up a few positions here and there. Overall 7th
Race 5- Last race of the night with the competition tight. I knew it would be tight with Bill and I so I had to give it everything I had. We were pretty tight going into the last mark and Bill tacked off to get to better air and came back just in front of me towards the finish line, plus he had the starboard advantage coming into the finsh. I had to slow down and duck him but since port was a better angle going across the line, I got him by just a few feet and tied on the overall for the night. Since I had better scores than he did, I won the tie breaker for 2nd.
Some things I learned tonight: clear air and speed in light air are very importantin the light to medium wind. Also coming in to the finish line on starboard does have its advantages but you cross the line almost parallel to the line to it so if you do it, its better to overstand and come in close to 'A' and immediately shoot the line.