Friday, September 12, 2008

Formula Worlds Day 4 Evening report

With 9 races already complete for the men's fleet, the RC was in no hurry to set a course today in the offshore, puffy conditions.
Finally with 1 quick race in the fluky conditions, the Portuguese express kicked up for the 3rd day in a row at 6pm with gust in the mid 20's for a spectacular formula race.
It was balls to the wall survival sailing as most of the fleet got caught with the light wind rigs and fins.
I held on but it wasn't pretty- going all the way for the leeward strap downwind in some hairy and fast runs.
The day started with the postponement flag dropping and sailors scrambling to rig as it was 90+ degrees on the beach and carbon windsurfing masts tend to spontaneously combust if left unattended in the heat while rigged. I just made it to the starting line in a very holy and gusty downwind run off the beach towards the course. With a good start 1/4 of the way down from the boat I was able to hold my lane once a few boards peeled off. At the layline I held off a few board lengths before tacking with the 20 boards in front of me. I climbed and made the mark while the guys who tacked early all missed the top mark in the light conditions. Downwind I stayed in the breeze, gybing 3 times to stay powered. Back upwind for the 2nd time I headed to the the left again, really overstanding the top mark and came flying in gaining 10 boards who tacked early again.
Finally on the last dowwind I got out of phase and let the sailors behind me gybe in the puff and lost a few more boards. So it goes in lightwind racing!
Still a good finish in the top 30.
The fleet was sent back into the beach and waited till the breeze stabalized.
I had just unrigged my 10.0 thiking it couldnt possibly get windy in the next 15 minutes before the fleet would go out ot stay ashore.
Sure enough by the time we started it was 20+ and I was on a full bellied 11.0 and 70cm xxs kashy fin. The next 20 minutes was an exercise in survival trying to keep the rig upright around the course. I struggled with the "Big Z' was it was a handful both upwind and downwind in the big puffs. Once I got the thing locked down, it was ok but no chance of any graceful transitions on my part.
2 more days left to move up but the forecast looks painfully light- just perfect for the lightwind Z and my 11.8

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, keep up the good work, your reports are super, gives a great view and good imnpressions from the worlds.

It's appalling that the official site and class sites have almost nothing, results are not updated, pictures poor etc.

Could you give us some hints about why Wojtek is performing so well compared to earlier.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Steve, ant thanks for your super reports. I have been linking to your reports in my reports for NOR-110 Kristian Olsen on www.tbsk.no .

I totaly agree that that the official site and class site are disapointing in their reports- it`s the world championship!!!
Best regards
Tor Christian, Norway

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

The lack of yesterdays results on the class website was due to alot of sailors in the protest room.
The jury is giving out redress like it was Christmas morning!