Monday, July 9, 2012

dueling winds- sf classic day 2 course racing

The iwindsurf forecast was spot on for Sunday for the SF city front
Dueling competing NW & SW winds fighting for control
The gusts were spastic and sailors 50' away would be getting lifts while others would be getting knocked.
To say the least- it was a challenging day of racing but everyone had to deal with the same conditions.
By the last race however, the wind jumped from 10-15 to 35K and only 3 of us were able to make it around the course.
I used the opportunity to try to test my 10.0 in as many conditions as possible.
The big difference was rigging with more downhaul.
The sail performed well but the 68 z f series fin felt a bit too soft especially in the spastic gusts where I would get completely lifted out of the water and spat down like a fly. Believe me- I wasn't the only one.
Cm by cm I moved the mast forward after every race for better control and by the last race it was pegged almost all the way forward.  I still think the track could be a bit more forward on the *167.
Its really important to know the limits of your equipment and to take advantage of switching to the optimal sail or fin when you've got the opportunity- or else others will .  Even how you trim your sail or your mast track position can affect  a lot of things

Thanks to StFYC for the photos

Our fleet is really tight and any number of sailors can win a race on any given day.
Tom took the weekend by surprise winning the SF Classic and the course racing on Sunday.
His equipment was optimized for the conditions.
The north 10.0 and 9.3 like a lot of wind and that's pretty much what we had.
Toms using a 68 kashy and a dialed in L10  so no excuses from his quiver.
Xavier ended up in 2nd but I could tell in the lighter stuff he was suffering on 9.0 and 61 cm fin in terms of angle.
We had 1 race where it was only 8-12 at the start and you had to stat in the pressure otherwise you were screwed.
The trick is just not to get stuck below as you'll be footing at the same angle while the rest of the local fleet pinches in the puffs.
I snuck ahead of Soheil in the last race of the series otherwise he had me in almost every race.
He's found his optimal trim conditions with his NP evo4 9.5, ML12 board and ifju 67 fin.
Awesome to see him get it all together as dialing in your kit can be one of the hardest things to do.

I was a bit up and down in terms of performance although you cant expect a results if you start in the 2nd row, I got screwed 2x upwind off the starting line in bad air and had to foot like crazy to get a lane I could sail in.
Downwind Im still very impressed with the 167.
It goes really well except when it gets too over powered.
Im finding you need to fin down sooner as the board already has plenty of power
Upwind there's a fine line of too much power or not enough.
Ive experienced the 71 Z F to be too flighty in anything over 15-16k and chop but also the 64 kashy to be not quite enough upwind when its not completely lit.
Still searching for those optimal trim settings....

Race 1 saw Xavier edge out Tom, Soheil in 3rd and myself in 4th as I got hosed off the start and didn't have enough time to recover in the 18min 2 lap races. Everyone's got their stuff dialed and there's no room for error.
Race 2 saw me ducking Eric off the start as I started on port but ended up with Soheil on my hip and no room to breath so I again went to foot and lost a lot in the 1st 20% of the race. Downwind rounding the gate- there was only one option- to go back inside and get the shore lift. A parade but it kept you on your toes. The spastic gust made it interesting as racers on the same tack were getting lifted and knocked.  Again 4th
Race 3 was really light at the start. In fact light enough that you need to stay up on the line almost 4 min before the start. I immediately tacked over with Soheil 20 seconds after the start to get back in the fresher breeze in the middle of the Bay while Tom, Xavier and Eric got stuck on the inside. Downwind it got lit up pretty quickly and Tom ate it on his gybe and it was clear sailing into 2nd as Soheil maintained control and got the bullet. I nearly lost it heading in the seas wall from the  leeward gate as I got a spastic gust that lifted me right out of the water. Luckily it spat down into a waterstart position and was able to recover relatively quickly.
Race 4- My mistake- not rigging down as Tom switched down to 9.3 and Xavier was already on 9.0. The wind shot up to 35k + on the first upwind. It was stupid windy to the point where control was the only issue with my 10.0. Tom just edged out Xavier for the win while I held it together for 3rdedging out 'Mr Comeback' Jean Rathle!
Never ever give up!

Thanks to StFYC for the photos and great day of racing

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