Nonetheless, racing in a shifty breeze with massive holes and periods of no planning- are whats to be expected in the upcoming European race session.
Thanks to Tom Voss for the photos
It felt great to get lined up with some fast sailors again as Id been sailing on my own in Almere during the past week. You never can tell if you angle or speed up is up to par unless you have a sparing partner or are racing along side the fleet.
I did manage to sail smart and stay in the breeze on several occasions- even amazing myself as I rounded the top final mark in 3rd after rounding in 7th at the previous mark. Even so, in light air, speed is king! I just didnt feel enough power from my fin to keep in the hunt upwind. Several times I lost out on the small battles that at the end of a leg- you ask yourself- how did I get in this position?
Im going to be fine tuning my equipment this spring to find the right settings.
There are so many variables- especially with new equipment and learning to switch my technique from over power sailing to underpowered sailing.
Ive been experimenting with several different techniques upwind to keep the board and rig powered up. First off railing the board slightly seems to help the new F2 board upwind. The board seems a bit sticky with the mast track at the center of the track so Ive been edging it further back with better results. Boom height also makes a huge difference. My having your booms up high around your nose or eye level you can hang off the rig more when starting to pump onto a plane and even while going through lulls.
Furthermore Ive been trying learn to sail with one hand on the uphaul upwind to keep the rig more upright and powered up. It seems to work but keeping and changing the angle of attack is critical. It's all a fine balance and will come with more time on the water this spring.
In other good news- it looks like the Formula Grand Prix circuit is gaining much momentum this spring and summer in Europe and South America. There are 6 stops planned for the 2008 season: (for more info see the class website at www.formulawindsurfing.org )
GP 1 - Sines,
GP 2 -
GP 3 -
GP 4 -
GP 5 -
GP 6 -
Ill be planing on attending the European events as well as the World Championship this September in Portugal. stay tuned for some exciting race reports in the upcoming months.