Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 US Windsurfing Nationals Day 4

With a 1 pm deadline for the last possible start, there was some pressure to get more course racing off. Sunday's forecast was less than stellar but eventually the breeze filled in enough to start. I sailed the course early with my 10.0 and decided there wasnt enough pressure so quickly came in and bumped up to the 11.0. The fleet was anxious and immediately had one general recall before the black flag went up. I got off clean on port and around the top mark in the heat with Al and Bruce. Downwind, the key was to stay in the pressure and like yesterdays previous 4 races, I was able to gain significantly by gybing early and pumping my way down to the leeward mark.
At that point, at the bottom of the course, the winds were less than plane-able and the fleet piled up. Race Director Darren Rogers made the right decision to abandon the race.
20 minutes later, he had the course set up a 1/2 mile upwind in the wind line and we were racing again. The fleet was well set up with the top 5 guys rounding in front. I was clawing my way through the fleet and pulled off an amazing last downwind leg going from 8th to 4th by splitting tacks after the windward mark and catching a nice puff and finessing my way through Percy, Eric and David just before the finish.
Again, kudos the race director for realizing the time crunch and running the next race back to back. One general recall pulled the fleet back after an anxious start and the last race was run under the blag flag.
The pressure was on. Bruce looked like he had things wrapped up and I was sitting 1.7 points in front of Eric for 2nd.
Again a port tack favored start to get out to the pressure on the Washington side and the favorable current. Al nailed the start and was out to a quick lead in front of Bruce. Eric went down hard on his first gybe so it looked like I had the opportunity to sail safe but on the 2nd upwind I managed to find some weeds and struggled to shake them. Eric was working his way up the middle of the course with pressure as I got caught on the sides. At the top mark, it was Al, Bruce, Eric, Chris and myself
One more move to make, if it worked I could catch Eric and Chris Prior in 3rd. I split tacks again but this time when I came across Chris and Eric were riding a nice puff down from the inside but it didnt look like they had the layline to the finish line. I overstood and came in with the pressure just behind Eric and Chris in 5th- just not enough to hold on to 2nd as Eric slipped in there.
That left me on the podium for 3rd overall behind Bruce and Eric- 2 well deserved places by great sailors!

2 comments:

Christena said...

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Cheers, Keep it up.


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Labelga said...

Congrats, Steve! Twitter seems like an excellent tool for windsurfers to feed live about wind situations.