Its been a windy past 2 weeks of windsurfing on the San Francisco city front with lit up slalom sessions after work 4-5 days a week. Soheil, Royce, Bill Wier, JK and others have all been getting their kits dialed in for the US Windsurfing nationals next month- more info here
I put formula training on hold until last Friday when we had another twilight series - and man did it show. I made plenty of mistakes and sloppy board-handling transitions.
Despite getting a good jump on the competition with good starts and weather mark roundings I fell 2x off the breeze in the voodoo chop just outside mark A from the St. Francis YC.
Race 1- I lead all the way around only to sail myself into a hole near the shore on the last upwind and fall on a tack- letting Eric take the bullet.
Race 2- With the breeze up to the low 20's on the outside, Ben gets some good speed off the line and rounds the top mark in 1st. He has been flying with the Hansen sails in the breeze. Off the breeze-its a case of staying in control. Ben goes down hard. I ride the 3/4 chicken strap in the chop with the 70 cm fin just to stay upright. Last upwind I make sure to not sail too close to shore to avoid the wind shadow and tack close enough to make the finish in 1st. Bill Weir gets a good race to finish 2nd
Race 3- JK put the pressure on me upwind with his 70 cm mikes lab fin on the first upwind. No doubt this has given him a better upwind performance despite being on the stiff side. I duck him and search for clear air then having to foot through Ben's bad air. Eric and Ben round clean and get a good distance established and not enough time to claw back. I fend of the rest of the fleet to take 3rd. Weir retires after a broken mast.
Race 4 - breeze is up again. I start at B and get a good lane to climb and be the inside boat in the lift off the shore. Off the breeze I go down hard but a quick recovery to salvage 4th- my discard.
Race 5- pressure is on. I sail solid race leading entire way around to take bullet and series. North 9.9 and 70 cm kashy fin seems to be good set up for most conditions. Booms are set a bit lower this year for more control. Mast base in mid track or just a bit forward in op'ed conditions.
Plenty of good slalom training this year as I'm getting my kit dialed in for nationals and hopefully some slalom 42 racing this fall in Europe. Slalom 42 is another discipline of racing like the Olympic class and formula class. This time instead of formula's 3 rigs, 3 fins and 1 board rule, slalom 42 gives you the option for 4 rigs and 2 boards for downwind slalom racing More people can relate to slalom gear as it isn't as gear intensive as formula racing- but still its alot of equipment!
I added a F2 sx medium 105 l board as well as a f2 large 130l board to my quiver. They both are a lot of fun to sail and aren't as intensive as grinding upwind and downwind on formula big gear. Dave Lasilla from finworks has hooked me up with some good slalom fins as well as finally getting some fast formula fins developed. Look for them at the front of the fleet by nationals this year!
Im finding some really good results with rigging the 6.3 with just a tad more recommended downhaul than suggested. With the mikes lab 95l slalom board- this is the set up for San Francisco voodoo chop and gusty city front conditions.