Sunday, March 4, 2007

Day 3 Midwinters

Typical Florida conditions greeted sailors today with a fickle breeze- just enough to get the hybrid, kona and sport fleets racing. Meanwhile the formula fleet stayed ashore waiting for something significant to fill in. Finally around 2pm, the wind steadied out to a 8-12knot breeze- just enough for one race in the formula fleet. more photos of 2007 boards here...
Most sailors had their light air set ups dialed in after 2 days of marginal racing. More or less this event is the first chance of the year for most sailors, including the pros, to test their new sails and boards. For most, its a chance to see what works and what doesn't in a fleet of around 40 boards. I knew from last months event in Miami that the F2 and starboards were really going well in the light air. This event was no exception. Starboard and pyrde sails placed in the top 3 positions. Needless to say it has allot to do with the indian and the arrow but when pros like Micah who arn't sponsored by any formula board company shell out and buy a starboard to race- it must be good!Back to the racing: After a long morning and afternoon wait the formula fleet got off with one general recall. I started mid line in a pack so as to not stand out but didn't jump the gun enough to get off well with a lane and was forced to tack over for clear air after 30 seconds . In the light stuff, clear air is king even if it means banging the corner. While most of the fleet went left to the layline, I lead a group over to the right side and was getting knocked the further I went. Good sign! I tacked back and was in decent position rounding the top mark around 12. Off the breeze I fought hard to stay deep and had to gybe 2x to get to the leeward mark. Once rounding, I was able to hold my lane upwind with the 70 cm fin as the group in front of me battled it out giving each other bad air. I tacked on the layline and gained a few boards who were low.
I rounded the top mark with Sylvester and he went higher for speed while I was able to go deeper with a big powerful sail. He gybed in front of me and I had to avoid the collision. Not a good show on his part. The lesson here- look over your shoulder before you gybe. I held out a few more seconds before I gybed but it really got light at the bottom so I was out of the harness pumping for a good 30 seconds to make the mark. Who says formula sailing isn't an aerobic sport? I was able to round clean but Steve behind me got a nice lift and rounded the top mark just behind me. Meanwhile I was yelling at him to do his circles and lost track of the course . I thought the top mark was the finish and actually slowed down to tell him to do his turns. Meanwhile he and one other sailor went blazing past me on the last reach to the finish. Ahh! What I had just gained I gave up as my thoughts were so focused on getting Steve to do his turns. Big lesson here- stay focused until the finish line! A 17th was good enough to move back up to 3rd place in the men's division as Fernando finished deep behind me and I won on the tie breaker. Not exactly the best performance but Ill take it. Just before the finsh line Steve did his circles- a good sign of sportsmanship on his part. Once ashore we argued about it a bit as our tempers were still hot but eventually let it be and realized what happens on the water should stay there. No need to bring it shore unless it goes to the protest room
In the rest if the fleet, Mike Percy was impressive all weekend on his new Hanson sails and edged out Sylvester for 2nd place in the masters division.Meanwhile up in front of the fleet Jesper got the bullet to secure 2nd overall in front of Micah just behind in 3rd and Jimmi in 4th. The Brazilians took both first in the men's and masters division. In the RSX, Barger- the top US Olympic hopeful just edged out Gebi for a close series.After the races I took out the starboard 161 for a test run against some other sailors. It did feel really good and lively- especially with a 70 cm kashy fin. I think it let me sail better especially in the light stuff where I was struggling on the Mikes Lab. Time will tell and with some more testing it should be evident what set up is the best. I'm looking forward to the challenge and more racing this season.
Here are some more links to photos and scores
2007 formula board photos
Calema photos
Until next time- sail fast
Steve Bodner


PeconicPuffin said...

Steve, what is the purpose of the rear inboard footstraps for on the formula that for downwind reaching?

Also...did you see yourself in the popeye awards?

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

The center rear strap or "chicken strap" (beacuse you use when you chicken out downwind and have to move in from the outside straps) provides a bit of control off the breeze. In lighter to medium breeze you can stay in the outside strap in the downwind legs to keep maximum fin pressure to drive the board deeper but has things heat up you need to go for control and take some pressure off the fin.
Notice the difference between the 3 formula boards shown in the photos- the mikes lab is set up for higher wind sailing with 2 chicken straps- giving you the option to get a bit more fin preesure than if you foor was in the middle of the board.

Anonymous said...


Did I hear you right Mike Z is making fins now? Formula and Slalom?

Keep up the fantastic updates. Your writing is being enjoyed by many.

Cheers, Tim

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

Thanks for the encouraging words Tim-
Sometimes I wonder if posting is only for my own benifit but I realize if I can prevent myself from making the same mistake twice- it might all be worth it!
In regards to the fins- I rode the zajiek #1 along with percy who had the softer #2 at the event. There may be 1 other ml fin but certainly no production yet! Peter Ifu from Florida seems to be on the right track as well- already building a mold with vaccum epoxy injection. Out here in SF, Dave Lassila-from california foils-is also trying some ideas with a g10 leading and training edge and carbon middle!

bryan mcdonald said...

cool blog steve! LOVE it!

you said "He gybed in front of me and I had to avoid the collision. ... The lesson here- look over your shoulder before you gybe."

i think you speak the truth. lets look at what the rules say about this.

if you and 'he' are both on starboard and 'he' gybed onto port, then he needs to keep clear while he is gybing (reference appendix B, which says "A board gybing shall keep clear of other boards."). after he gybes to port, he still needs to keep clear per rule 10 (starboard has right of way).

if you and 'he' are both on port and 'he' gybes, 'he' still needs to keep clear while gybing. after 'he' has gybed from port to starboard, 'he' has acquired right of way by his own actions (since he's now on starboard and you are on port) and he initially needs to give you room to keep clear under rule 15.

thus in each situation above, if 'he' caused you to take avoiding action either while he was gybing or shortly thereafter (i'd say within 3 seconds), then he probably did not keep clear of you and you could protest for a breach of rule 13 or 15.

note, if you are on starboard and he's gybed to port, he needs to keep clear the whole time.

i think the only time 'he' could be correct in this is if 'he' gybed from port to starboard, gained right of way and it was over 3 seconds later that you had to avoid a collision.

if 'he' thinks he broke a rule, when should he take a penalty and what should it be? rule b2.1(c) says "Rule 44.2 is changed so that two turns are replaced by one 360° turn with no requirement for tacks or gybes."

thus he only needs to do one circle, not two.

the basic principle of the rules says "BASIC PRINCIPLE SPORTSMANSHIP AND THE RULES
Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty, which may be to retire."

rule 44.2 says "After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a ... Penalty"

thus waiting until right before the finish to take a penalty is probably not "as soon after the incident as possible". if this were the olympics or a world championship and you protested 'him' for taking too long to take a penalty, you might prevail in the protest.

don't get me wrong, i'm very proud that 'he' took a penalty and it sounds like the right thing to do.

you said "The lesson here- look over your shoulder before you gybe." i think the racing rules of sailing agree with you here. please reference isaf case 26 "P as the keep-clear boat failed to keep a lookout and to observe her primary duties to keep clear and avoid contact. She was correctly disqualified under rules 10 and 14. The main purpose of the rules of Part 2 is to avoid contact between boats. All boats, whether or not holding right of way, should keep a lookout at all times."

isaf case 107 says "A boat that is not keeping a lookout may thereby fail to do everything reasonably possible to avoid contact. "

thus, even if 'he' had the right of way, if he gybed so close to you that there was no way for you to avoid a collision, then 'he' may have broken rule 14.

more from isaf case 107 "Rule 14 begins ‘A board shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably
possible.’ This requirement means a board must do everything that can reasonably be expected of her in the prevailing conditions to avoid contact. This includes keeping a good lookout, particularly in a crowded starting line situation."

thus, looking over your shoulder before you gybe, i think, is a great idea.

just wanted to point out what the rules say about this for people's edification and success on the race course.

thanks, bry (usa-314)

bryan mcdonald said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.