In the start that that was clean I got off near the pin end clean in what I thought was a great start but looked over my shoulder only to find the wind had switched right about a minute before the start and now the boat end was majorly favored. The lesson here is to test the line and stay aware of the shifts during the 5 minute countdown. I got caught on the wrong side of the shift from the beginning and never got back in phase the whole race.
It was hard to get my game face back on after that race but somehow after a long break waiting for the other fleets to race and having lunch- I was able to get myself back in the game after I borrowed a fin from Sylvester and finally found the groove I was looking for in the light wind. The new light wind set up consisted of a 11.7 m2 north warp with my mikes lab l7 and new 70 cm Zajicek fin. The fin was much stiffer than what I was used to using but was able to hold angle and really rocked downwind in my initial test against Sylvester and Percy. So there I was ready for race 2- with the confidence to hold my angle upwind. I was ready to go! A couple of more general recalls as the fleet was really pushing the line but all 3 times I got off well with a lane for the first 20 seconds before heading back to restart. Finally the real deal- I was pushing the line aggressive at the start getting lined up with speed down the line with 20 seconds to go when I just ran out of wind and stalled as the wind died on the line and the fleet went over the top of me. How ironic as I finally found a set up to work and screwed by the wind. Well that’s the reality of racing- you’ve got to take the ups and the downs- hopefully learning something from every situation. The big lesson I learned today was to keep my cool- no matter how bad you think things can get, no matter how desperate the situation- there’s always one more board in front of you to fight to get and at the end of the day every point counts! Today I found my 2 throwouts for the regatta so tommorow got to get everything in line for some top 10 finsihes.
Some interesting observations of the new 07 equipment: This year the sail developments have not been as dramatic as previous year. Both the north and pryde sails look really good with an improved range from last year. The Maui sails finally went to a double luff after several years of trying to make a small luff work. In regards to the formula board development- the F2 and starboards really are light air machines with thicker and more parallel rails. The F2 board has lots of things going this year with the board- airpipes, cutouts and a pickle nose (see photos above): seems to work really well in the light to medium breeze. The Starboard 161 seems to have been developed from lots of gradual evolution and may be the most well rounded board. It would be interesting to get these boards in the Bay for testing- that is if they would last the season! Even the Mikes Lab has a wider tail demanding a more powerful fin but doesn’t show its true potential till the wind comes up to the mid teens. (Who wants to race in anything under that anyways ?) Towards the end of the day yesterday I saw the guys on the starboard and F2 boards really struggling for control as the breeze came up. Even the Pro sailors were searching for a chicken strap to put on their boards. The majority of the fleet is on the F2 boards or starboards with a handful of sailors on the mikes lab. The big devlopment this year has come with custom fins. Sailors are finding the foils below their board are just as important as the foils above the board- perhaps even moreso! Most sailors are using custom carbon fins with several new protos showing a lot of potential for the upcoming season. Results and more photos can be found at www.calema.com