Sunday, July 22, 2012

finding your limit

Day 4 on the formula windsurfing North American championship was about finding your personal limits. How much could you give before breaking?
It was a battle against mother nature and she served up quite a plateful on the San Francisco Bay.
Conditions were epic for racing with 20-30k of wind, voodoo chop and sunshine.
We had 3 races with BRA999 continued to dominate but the local fleet was a lot closer giving the top  pros a run for their money. Our fleet showed them what we do best- run deep in the voodoo chop. It was balls to the walls sailing downwind in viscous chop, ferry boat wake and container ship traffic.
I started off the day with 2 4th places- my best so far but the last race kicked my ass and I had to settle for 9th. Tom and I had the same idea- start on port and get to the middle of the Bay where there was a more consistent breeze. We both found holes in the starboard tack line and poked through giving up a clear lane up the first beat. At the windward mark set near the presidio shoal the winds were already gusting 25k+. The pack rounded and immediately jetted downwind through the voodoo chop and swell. I though- just keep it together- the leaders arein sight- you might actually get this one! I charged as hard as I could getting to the leeward mark in 3rd just behind Jesper. I had a batter rounding and was climbing on him but meanwhile Xavier was putting the hammer down footing below us with better speed. I let Jesper tack thinking he didnt have the layline but he just made it and Xavier was able to speed below me just grabbing 3rd.
Next race- same scenario- Tom and I on port. The fleet was tight at every mark. One mistake and you were shot out or swallowed alive. I literally saw CRAD get swallowed by a ferry wake at the leeward gate. The last upwind was brutal. I found myself in 3rd again but with Tom on my weather hip., We both had similar speed and angle but as the beat wore on I was getting knocked down in the 30k puffs with my 9.5 rig. I tacked only because I could keep my body contorted any longer. Luckily it was right on the layline but Tom just edged me out for 3rd.
The last race kicked my ass. I fell on my gybe downwind and was out the back door.
Oh well 2 out of 3 would have to do.
Im still only 1/2 way done with this bender as the US Nationals start on tuesday in the gorge.
Pace yourself is my matra

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