I'm not sure what was worse these past 2 weeks- no time on the water or lower back pain every time I bent from the waist. My recovery was going well and I decided to give it a shot for Friday night racing at the St. Francis YC.
I was still feeling stiff but manageable.
Conditions were 13-17k and gusty so I rigged NP 10.7, ML10 and Z fin.
Most of the 14 board fleet was on 11 with a few on 10's expecting the breeze to fill in.
I got lucky and sailed smart tonight taking 3 bullets.
Race 1 saw Soheil fall just at B leaving me a nice lane to go upwind with no pressure from above. Eric called weather lay-line first and we rounded close and rode a puff 1/2 way to beach. I gybed sooner and got going again as the breeze was steady outside. The NP 10.7 really accelerates well off the breeze from a standstill. I left the other guys behind and rounded the leeward mark in front carrying in to the wind line just shy of the wall and having to make 1 more tack to the finish. Eric finished a close 2nd with Al, David and Crad finishing out the top 5.
Race 2 saw Crad and myself well matched upwind off the line. He had angle while I had speed. I'm finding the Z fin is faster if you let it sail it's own course.
Fins like the cut down F4 BB with a wider chord (that Crad was using) have more upwind grunt and seem to be very well matched with the wide ML10.
After rounding Anita rock just behind CRad, we both gybed and headed to the outside
I got the jump on Crad downwind by calling the layline to the leeward mark and just sailing in enough towards the sea wall to make finish in 1 tack while others has to double tack.
Rounding out the top of the fleet was Crad, Wells and Soheil.
Race 3 - Ebb was increasing so I made my approach with enough room below the line to get going at 2-3 seconds and not be over early. It was a good start- winning the pin end and climbing on those below me with the inside lift. I rounded just behind Crad in light breeze.
We both immediately gybed only to have fleet sail over us and finally get going.
As we headed out to the middle of the Bay- it was apparent we were going higher and higher just to keep in the fading pressure so I looked behind and saw Wells riding a nice puff down the middle. A quick gybe to get back in the pressure and that was enough to send me deep in the puff right to the mark and take the final bullet.
Racing called for night as things lightened up too much.
A wise call by JC on the race deck.
5 minutes later there was no wind at Anita but the fleet took off for some upwind training.
Below is Al video from post race training.