Another busy weekend of formula training and racing on the SF Bay.
Saturday was the 2nd Calcup race of the year in Berkeley with 19 formula boards on the line for racing.
Stellar job on the RC boat by Lyrah, Anders and Nick!
Race director, Mike Percey mixed it up a bit and set a 2 gybe mark slalom course at the top of the course just after rounding the windward mark. This provided for a bit of a parade but made board handling skills like gybing extra important.
Winds were 15-20k so most of the fleet were on their 10.0's, some on the 11.0's and even some on their 9.0s-proving that it doesnt matter what gear you are using but how efficiently you are using it.
Efficiency was the name of the game for Xavier who took another string of bullets. Hes got some amazing speed that allows his to get back into the game when behind and extend his lead when he's in front. Looking at his set up more carefully, he's using the 167w with a 61-63cm kashy fin and np rs 9.0.
I wouldn't think that would be the most efficient rig in medium wind conditions but he makes it work.
Xavier- on top of his game!
I was only able to pull ahead once as it got lighter downwind and I got out of the harness and pumped my way down to the leeward mark while the rest of the leaders had to double gybe and go to the opposite end of the gate. Little did I know there would be more pressure on the other side of the course and my quick lead vaporized in the wind...
All in all- 5 races in 15-20k was pretty good.
Our local fleet is still really competitive with Soheil and Eric showing some good results at the top while Al and Chris were trying to dial in their new NP evo4's on the water for the first time.
Tom also had a good showing getting his new 11.0 north & ZF1 up to speed on the course.
The L12 update form Soheil is that it's better than the L10 in transitions with a bit of an extra umff to stay powered. He was also using the new ZF0 fin. Ironically, the guys in the east bay on the L12 are all now going back up in fin sizes to account for the bigger board while Xavier on the biggest board is finding success with smaller fins
I was running on my 167 & NP 9.5 evo3 and Z F1 s- fin with good results
As it got lighter in the day I bumped my booms up to max and was holding my uphaul upwind for better angle. I feel pretty confident with the 9.5 as a good medium to high wind sail but could use some extra power when it gets lighter. The powerful ZF1 makes up for that and gives great drive even as it gets lighter.
2nd row starts look pretty painful with all the chop and bad air
I was pretty consistent around the course grabbing a 2,2,6,2,3.
The 3rd race I got rolled at the start and should have tacked over but tried to dive through the fleet to get clear air and was never able to find a lane to come back. I almost scored big getting back into the hunt by tacking early for the windward mark with 3 boards on my windward hip but got denied at the last minute with a big knock and forcing me to double tack. Sometimes when you're behind you've got to take more risks to get back into the game
Other times, however, you've got to minimize your risk when you're in front with a close group behind you. That was the case in the last race as it got lighter and I kept my strategy to keep going to the left side. I almost blew it as it the rest of the fleet went right to the pressure but somehow managed to claw my way back one by one and grabbing a 3rd for the last race.
The lesson- keep your head on a swivel to keep track of the fleet!
Sunday saw more training with Xavier on the SF city front.
I though maybe Id get some light air training on 10.7 with an early 1:30 session but got blown off the water as the ebb tide and 10-15k breeze quickly built to 18-24k gusty sw gale and bay full of voodoo chop.
I switched down to the 9.5 and we had some good sparing upwind to Baker beach and some really lit up downwind runs. The 68 Z F s- feels better in those conditions but I think I need something even smaller to handle what the SF Bay is capable to delivering.
Upwind it's usually easy to cope with the wind and chop- especially in an ebb where you can pinch to depower but downwind is where things start tot get hairy...
Im getting more used to the double chicken on the 167 with the chicken straps set more parallel.
Another round of Friday night races this week at the St. Francis YC to look forward to.
See you on the water!
Results and more photos at calcup site