Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 1 Sopot Formula Grand Prix

Day 1 turned out to be a fantastic day of racing here in Sopot Poland for the first day of the Formula Grand Prix. Winds were light to medium from 10-17k but the sea state was still quite confusing. Sailors had to deal with an array of chop and swell around the course as well as an aggressive fleet at the start. Most of the races, port tack was well favored and it took some weaving and yelling to get through without damage. Gonzo wasn't so lucky went down hard on the starting line in race 3 but with redress still came out in 3rd at the end of the day.
Up in front- it's any body's game as there are quite a few sailors capable of winning here. The level is quite high at the top.
We had 4 races today which I managed to go well sailing in the top 20 in the first 3 then stumbling 100 meters form the finish line in race 4 when I ran into a plastic bag and went down hard letting 1o sailors go by.
Overall, a bit better performance in the light wind as I am trying out a new fin Holland and found my angle upwind. I was able to maintain a lane and even gain some. Off the breeze- Im going well gaining 1 or 2 spots each leg.
We are running the outside trapezoid course with the leeward mark set just in front of the Sopot Pier. It makes it rather difficult to get the layline as the pier sticks out and a lot of positions are lost as sailors are fumbling to get around the mark. I was one of them and got screwed trying to manhandle the 12m rig.
In race 3 I switched down to the 11.0 with good success as the wind was building more more so the sea state was becoming more difficult to handle with the bigger rig.
Overall- a good day for me with some signs of improvement. I am sitting in 19th now in a fleet of 63 and just 3 spots out of the prize money.
With 4 races completed, everybody is quite tired tonight after the first day of racing.
Im off to bed before another big day tomorrow.
Forecast looks similar but hotter as the w-end approaches.
Results at formulawindsurfing.org
Photos here