Light winds plagued the first day of racing at the 20th US Open windsurfing regatta in Corpus Christi Bay. The kiteboarders never left the beach while the formula fleet barely got around 3 races with one other being abandoned 1/2 through.
The day started off the postponement flag right off the bat. In the meantime slalom heats were set. Nobody rigged till around 1pm as the Texas heat has been known to snap carbon mast left to bake on the beach. The event this year is being run off mcgee beach which makes rigging and derigging a snady experience. In true Texas style everyone drives their pick up down on the beach and rigs on tarps.
With the wind barley up to 8 knots the race director took down the postponement flag and within 5 minutes started race 1. Most of the fleet was still trying to get off the beach at the start. I made up to the line and looked like I would be the only one with a planning start. I took off the the left side where there was just a hint of breeze and building chop. Seth followed a bit behind and it looked like we might take the 1 lap race. A few others got off the line late and headed right and caught a puff coming down. I rounded the top mark in 4th but BRA 999 was able to go a bit deeper and get me downwind. 5th place finish with quite a gap behind me as the rest of the fleet barely planed to the finish.
Race 2: A rain squall was approaching just after the start which killed the wind and the RC abandoned the race after the first downwind.
After a long wait the 2nd race was restarted in marginal winds. I got off the line well in the middle of the line pumping over Steve S and Mike Z on the line. Unfortunately I didn't take it far enough left and tacked back too early and caught a right shift coming back which put me a few boards back. Mike Z rounded just in front at the top mark with Seth a few board lengths ahead in 4th. By the bottom mark the wind was getting really light and I thought I might get Mike Z as we were pumping to make the bottom mark. Seth gybed early and came back to round just in front of us but was able to hold onto 4th with Mike Z in 5th and me in 6th. As I looked back up the course most of the fleet wasnt planing coming downwind. It was an ever longer wait till the 3rd attempt at racing and an ever lighter breeze. It was below the wind minimum but the RC started anyway in 3-6knots. Lots of holes up the course. I got off the line near the pin with Mike Z just below me. I was able to hold my line for the first minute but as it got lighter and we got headed I had to dive through his wake to search for air. I came off a plane and a few other sailors who were still planning came over to the left. Meanwhile most of the fleet got stuck on the line. Back and forth we went reaching across the course with no upwind angle. Most of the race was spent non planning and I managed to finish way deep in the fleet. Back ashore most of the fleet agreed it was too light for racing so I filed a protest which was disallowed. RC has final word.
So 3 marginal races today - 2 decent finishes with 1 horrible race. 1 more race to get a throwout. Tommorows forecast doesnt look any better with slalom and a speed event scheduled.