Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 Ronstan challange

The Ronstan Challenge is billed as a comfortable tour of the SF Bay taking the formula windsurfers and kiteboarders down to Berkeley and back to the SF city front.
Unlike its older- the SF Classic- it's a straight shot downwind and back.
The biggest thing you need to take into account is the current.
Line them up correctly and you could be riding a magic carpet straight to the finish while your competitors fight it out in the flood tide.

A 12:30 skippers meeting saw the 1st possible start delayed till 2 and shortened course to Treasure Island vs the full deal to the Berkeley pier and back.
With this in mind, I switched to the 10.7 and Z fin just moments before heading out.
After a rather strange morning in SF with 70 degree temps and a raging north wind, things settled down a bit and the wind switched left. The RC set the line further upwind to accommodate for the lighter winds- which caught a few people by surprise as there were only 4-5 making it on time with the rest of the fleet struggling to get going in the light stuff.
I lined up for a port start thinking there would be more wind in the middle as the inside looked light.
S3 and Xavier got the jump on starboard while Eric and I started on port.
The rest of the fleet sat park below the line in a very light 8-12k
I rounded topark in 4th with Xavier on 9.5, Eric on 11 and S3 on 11 in front.
Quickly I gybed to get control of the outside. Mid bay I gybed back finally overtook s3 below Alcatraz with better speed. Coming into TI I called the layline perfect and pumped into the leeward mark- while Eric, S3 and Besse on 9.5 all had to double gybe to make it.
Thanks to Chris Ray for the great shots on Saturday!
I lead upwind on port tack to Angel Island but tacked too late to cover the fleet behind me. On the beat back to starboard, I collected so many weeds my angle and speed were off significantly. I lost S3 from behind & Eric and Seth to leeward.
In hindsight, I should have back down to clear myself but kept forging ahead in hopes the weeds would clear themselves- wrong move!
All I could do was head back out to mid bay while the 3 leaders played the cityfront.
I never found the groove up wind.
And now I know why.
Sailing to the wrong side of the course and not taking advantage of ebb tide really put me at a disadvantage. S3, Eric and Besse battled it out to the finish and 4th was all I could salvage.
S3 sailed a brilliant upwind in front claiming the gun.
44 consistent as ever - claimed the no 2 spot while Seth- just falling short to take the bullet managed 3rd.
Overall a good day!
Can't get too upset over weeds as it's all part of the game.
Meanwhile the kiters started 25 minutes behind us in a fresher breeze and leader Andrew Koch took the line honors with an elapsed time of 49 minutes and 35 seconds- almost 6 minutes faster than the formula fleet.

Sunday 2pm start w/ 3 course races scheduled.
Thanks to Shawn Davis for the photos- be sure to check out his gallery at

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