Sunday, August 13, 2006

Day 4 Us Nationals

Day 4

How windy was it?

Well let's just say it blew the dogs off the chain
here in Maui at the us nationals for the past 4
We raced formula yesterday with 9.0s before deciding
we were too wound and switched to 7.6's. The rest of
the fleet stayed on course slalom boards in the open
class for a double windward leeward and some reaching
in the course.
We raced both inside and outside the reef, which made
calling the laylines interesting as you had to sail
through the breakers to reach the windward mark. All
of us had our share of disasters and it was the one
who recovered the fastest that made it out best. In
the first race, Percy, Steve S and I went off the line
with our 9.0's, sailing through the break before Percy
ate it and go pitched over falls. Steve and I rounded
the top mark together before he managed to escape
downwind going a bit deeper to the leeward mark and
getting a lead on me. He extended his lead and
finished first and I sailed into 2nd with Percy
recovering and placing 3rd.

In the next race, we all switched down to our big
slalom sails on our formula boards as it was a steady
25 with gust in the mid 30's. Percy and I headed off
together and lost sight of Steve- as it turned out he
had a collision with a rec sailor and took both of
them out. I had a few issues with harness lines and
was in the water trying to retie the sucker a few
times and not to succumb to defeat. Percy took the
bullet and another sailor snuck in there for second
before I finished in 3rd.
In the last race of the day, Percy and I were fighting
off the line again with out 7.6's in a solid 30k
breeze and monster swell. He rounded the top mark in
first and we both screamed down wind with our feet in
the leeward strap. Around the reach mark, Percy
looked like he was having trouble so I pulled the
trigger and sheeted in, grinding him down bit by bit.
I got just to windward of him and waited for him to
tack to cover him to the windward mark. Unfortunately
disaster struck again as I got a nice weed wrapped
around my fin and had to jump in and clear it. Percy
was gone, but that was the least of my troubles. This
time, my port harness line blew out at the webbing so
I had to be innovative to re-attach it to the boom-
needless to say it was a few times in the water which
let another sailor sneak into 2nd.

Meanwhile, the rest of the action was in the open
class with the biggest fleet of locals on course
slalom gear and medium slalom sails. Phil McGain,
Micah Buzianis and Matt Pritchard were up at the top.
it sure looked like those guys were having more fun
screaming on their small boards and catching up with
the formula fleet who started 4 minutes earlier.

One more day of course racing today before the 2006 US Nationals is over. One part of me will be really thankful but the other will be disappointed to leave
this place! It's really a unique place to race with a
strong local fleet- almost just a crazy as the formula
sailors in the Bay area!

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