Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Formula worlds day 1 report

Day 1 at the formula world champs was brutal with 18-20k on the course gusting up to the mid 20s. 3 races were run all 3 lap windward leeward finishing with a short reach around the pin end to the finish set to leeward if the starting boat. The fleet is 50 strong. The course is set up between shore and a reef a 1/2 mile out with some mini reefs in between for good nature.
The starts were insanely port tack favored so the fleet was charging in each direction. Carnage followed with some pretty close calls on the line. I narrowly avoided disaster as a port tacked POL-10 plowed into me on race 2 on the starting line putting a hole in my board but I was able to hustle back just enough so that redress wouldn't matter.
I'm sitting in 26th but it feels like I should be doing better as the fleet is one of the toughest I've ever sailed in with almost all the top pros here and just 1/3 amateurs. I'd reckon it's the closest thing to an Olympic regatta that I will ever sail in.
Everyone is making some mistakes even the guys at top so its going to be who sails the most constant that wins. So far that's Antoine, Jesper and Polanoski at the top after day 1.
You gotta love POL-10 on starboard in the video below- about 45 sec. in as he knocks in 3 port tackers with his boom and yells- "Dont fuck with my starts!"
This is from the same guy who got out of my protest and a rule 69 hearing .

Ron Kern ran into the reef and basically broke his board in 1/2 hinging just in front of the fin box. Casper got sliced with a fin and consequently got taken hospital for stitches. Nicholas from
France for t-boned by victor from Brazil rendering his board useless for the rest if the regatta. That's why you bring a spare !

The course is set up so that there's a reef and a shore limiting both sides of the course forcing most sailors tacking and gybing up the middle of the course and a more crowded race course.

To say people are running into each other would bean understatement.

To top it off, the shore is the favored side on the windward beat as you can get the geographical shift off the land after the first tack. Consequently, port tack has been favored on the starting line causing even more chaos!

I sailed the 9.5 all races with a 70 cm fin adding more downhaul than I've had before. Good upwind but a bit off the pace downwind. Maybe less tomorrow. Most others were on 10 or 10.7.
The key it seemed was to sail in clear air with the narrow course. I tacked early a few times just before the reef or shore and came back across with a good lane and gained.
Tomorrows forecast looks to be windier so hopefully a chance to move up.
More later.
Hitting the sack after a long day.
4 more days to go!

Results and photos at www.formulawindsurfing.org

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