Monday, June 30, 2008

voodoo chop

It wouldn't be summer in San Francisco if there wasn't a stiff breeze and a dense shroud of fog making its way through the golden gate. For the last 2 weeks, the sea breeze has been firing almost everyday making sunset slalom and formula training the call!
Ive been lucky enough to get by with a little help from my friends here- lending me a ML7 and north 10.0 while Im back for a few weeks. Thanks guys!
The fleet here has been training for the upcoming SF Classic- billed as the longest running windsurfing long distance race in the world. In the past few years, the kites have joined the formula boards for the full tour of the Bay. So, in preparation, I've been doing some deep long runs and reaching across the Bay- lit up with a 70 cm fin. From the first few sessions of testing, it appears the Finworks PRO formula fins is going quite well both upwind and downwind when lining up against the kashy fins.
It also wouldn't be a summer in San Francisco with out the infamous voodoo chop on the SF Bay. Turbulence (like the south tower of the Golden Gate bridge) or converging tide lines combine to create an amazing array of standing chop, boiling with fury. Getting through this mess is only possible with the help of the chicken and super chicken straps on the Mike's Lab formula boards. It took me a week or so to get back into the groove but once here, sailing in the steep ebb tide and chop feels comfortable again. Of course, just when you get comfortable, windsurfing finds a way to humble you again.
Yesterday evening, I was running the top half of the Classic course coming down from the north tower to the Presidio shoal buoy- sheeting in as much as I could through the boiling water below to keep my speed up. One second lapse in my concentration was all it took to chuck me off and land upside down, hooked in ontop of my rig.
Dazed and confused, I picked myself up and kept going.
Upwind, I've been picking up somethings again I seem to have forgotten while sailing in the relative non tidal lakes and seas of Europe. You've really got to pay attention to where the current is relative to your bow. You can either pinch or have to foot. Figure this out and your upwinds could be reduced significantly as you make your way around the course.