Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 3 US windsurfing Nationals

With only 1 race today- counting as double points in the overall championship- I knew I had a chance to move up in the fleet. The competitor's debriefing was set for 11 am and the long distance course was set. Sailing down to Treasure Island and back would be tame compared to the long distance marathons we've done earlier in the season. The only difference would be the 2 gates that would keep the fleet together on the up and downwind legs.

For the complete sideshow of Shawn's photos of the event click here
By 1pm the ebb tide was strong on the outside but growing near the shore. The line looked like it could be laid on port but was a risky maneuver considering the double points. I started on starboard halfway down the line and got a nice inside lift once tacking near the shore. Percy tacked immediately below me and blew up on the tack. One down! As I made my way up the first beat towards the windward mark set by the Presidio shoal marker- I looked to have a good lead over the pack but Ben and Seth rounded in 10 seconds front of me. We immediately gybed to get back into the breeze and made our way downwind towards the first gate set in front of the StFYC. I gybed and got Ben as it was still light for him. Seth meanwhile was putting some distance on me. One more gate downwind near Blossum rock and off the the leeward mark set off the north tip of Treasure Island. Seth provided a good opportunity for me to call the layline so I was playing it safe but called the last transit to early and ran out of room and wind near the leeward mark. Sylvester came blazing in and gybed in front of me near the mark and got me on the rounding.
By this time I was footing and trying to get clear air and a lane upwind. I was concentrating on the entire upwind leg in front of me that I completely forgot about the upwind gate and forgot the 1st basic rule of racing- keep yourself between the next mark and your competitors. In the brief 5 minutes off the leeward mark I let the next 3 guys tack and get through the gate in front of me. Eric, Steve, and Al all made it through as I was trying to gain composure again and get back in the game. Luckily that was all that slipped through as it could have been worse! I held it together and held off Percy who was pointing like a madman trying to get around me. I wasn't going to let that happen so I put it back together to finish right behind Steve in 5th.
Its now a tight race for second place with Eric, Sylvester and myself within a few points of each other. Seth has still a string of bullets and could end the regatta after only sailing 2 races tomorrow.
With 4 more course raced set for Friday its going to be a fight to the finish.
I'm determined to get this one as its my last regatta int he US for a while.
Andreas is also blogging the event @
Check out the local news channels coverage of the event here
As well as our own 'Don King of windsurfing'

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