Calcup Winds were in a light pattern this week so I wasn't expecting anything big today. I rigged the 11.0 hoping to squeeze everything out of the 10-14k and flat water on the course. We had 5 races (6 if you counted the 2nd where half the fleet took off after a general recall.) My performance was right on par finishing just behind the top group of sailors and in the mix a few times. We had a Devon sailing with us who really took off from the rest of us amateurs. He has some amazing speed and angle. I wasn't at all close except for some starts where he rolled me. I noticed through out the day my angle and speed were getting progressively worse and I had some major wrinkles in the batten just below my boom. My last race, I didn't have much angle upwind at all and was suffering. My batten and poked through the end of the pocket and was sticking through the luff pocket…not fast at all! My finishes were consistently 5th with one 7th as a throwout- or so I recall!
My approach for racing today was to get clear air and stay in the wind. Don't fall off a plane at all! First race, winds were light and I wanted to get set up towards the pin so I had room. A few guys like Ben and Eric were going to dip starts which seemed to go well through out the day. We went planning on the line and it was only the top guys who got off while the rest of the fleet struggled to get planning. I immediately tacked over the right side to get going and carried it over to the land but came all the back to the left side -putting on some major distance. I should have just worked the right side and got the shift once I got up to the island. When its windy, going right always pays off on this course. For the rest of the races, it was a parade to the layline both upwind and downwind. I managed to pick off a sailor here and there to finish in 5th or 6th. I n the next few races, I did the same thing- getting people at the bottom corner of the downwind, where I gybed inside of them and worked my way down to the leeward mark, either ahead because of the getting the wind first or with an overlap for a decent rounding.
In the 3rd race, I didn't carry over the layline far enough and had to double tack with Crad and Ben. Off the breeze, same situation- drive them to the layline and gybe inside!
The next start, I was just below Devon at the start but couldn't drive away with enough power and speed but luckily he had better angle and sailed clear away to windward- leaving me unobstructed to get to the port layline in decent shape. I was sparring it out with Ben most of the time for the 5th spot behind Devon, Mike Z. Steve S and Mike P. We did have some good sparing on the line with Alan vigorously defending his space to windward as I tried to roll him with 10 sec to the start. He was forcing me up and shot me up over the line and I came back to duck the line and clear myself. If your going to put yourself into that situation, be sure to realize the risk and have an escape plan to get out. The same thing happed the last race, when Eric left a big hole to windward of him and I stuck in there. By the time he started to come up, I was over the top of him and back down on the line and under him, forcing him up. Interesting how that played out. Don't get yourself caught in personal battles as they will probably take you out of the game.
Percy and I were duking it out in the 4th race as he rounded just in front of me at the windward mark and we gybed together but I had the inside overlap at the leeward mark and tried to stay high to force him to tack over so I could continue. I was going up and up and grinding as he kept the pace, I could tell we were both well above our normal course and with out decent batten tension, I didn't know how much longer I could hold him back. Finally e got up on me while I had a little spin out and by then, he has gone. I followed him around the rest of the course but finished 5th again.
Not a bad day of racing. I made some good tactics that got me some places and didn't make any major mistakes.