Thursday, September 17, 2009

Formula Worlds Day 4

Things started out as usual here with a 12pm skippers meeting and 1 pm 1st possible start.
Everything looked in order for another day of light wind racing as the men's fleet all headed out on the 11 and 12m rigs. The forecast was due to ramp up later in the day but youve got to rig for the conditions you are facing now.
With that in mind, I took the 11m and 72xxs kashy. We had one general recall where I got off the line clean near the pin but the fleet was called back. In the next start I lined up similarly but with 30 or so port tackers it wasnt easy to get going and I got buried having to do 2 tacks in the first 2 minutes of the race. Slowly I fought my way back through the fleet giving it my all as the conditions ramped up. I was overpowered with the 11 but I knew everybody else was even more overpowered with their 12m rigs.

I thought to myself, keep grinding away, one board at a time.
Sure enough I was holding on as conditions got hairer and the mid fleet guys were dropping like flies. On the last downwind, I really caught up well as the chop and wind wewre perfectly lined up for the chicken strap to send it deep!
I finished in 29th- my best yet but was looking forward to the next race as things were heating up even more!

The fleet came ashore and it was a mad rush to rig the 10 and 67cm fin for the next race.
A bit of chaos at the event site with rigs flying and people rushing everywhere.
I went out early to get a feel for the conditions and felt really comfortable in the building seas and wind. It was up to 25-30k and 4-5' swell.
I really nailed the start and got off clean in the middle of the line, finally able to hold my own.
Boards were flying off the top off the chop with 2-3' of air below their fins.
I managed to hold it together well and rounded the top mark in the hunt with boards all around me.
Somehow, through, even with the double chicken strap I was going higher than most of the fleet but surviving as I some some spectatular wipeouts.
Rounding the leeward mark, things looked well but I dipped in the water as a piece of chop threw my board up and temporarily out of control. I quickly waterstarted and was grinding upwind well. I nailled the next windward layline but this time downwind, it was hairier than Ive sailed in a long time. 5-6' swell and pushing 30k. I was really in survival mode as was the rest of the fleet. Tactically I made a big mistake as I had to gybe 2 extra times as i misjudged the finish and that cost me a few positions but happy I survived in 1 piece and just around 30th.

It looked like we were going to race another 2 and I was all pumped up as I knew I could really climb up the scoresheet but alas the race director pulled the plug as saftey was becoming a big issue with a lot of people getting rescued.
Somwhow, even with 2 better races I mamanged move dwn to 42nd from 41st as alot of people in front of me used these 2 races as their throwouts.
Well , all I can do is keep sailing hard for the next 2 days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve - good racing! Your SF bay experience surely paid off today. Looking forward to see some pictures of the carnage... Keep going at it! Good luck, chris_bel29