Monday, July 23, 2012
putting it all together
I'm not sure the regatta could have ended on a higher note.
I got my best results of the series on the last day with a 4-4-3 bumping me up 2 positions to 6th overall- just shy of my top 5 goal but at this point Im stoked to have found the speed and angle around the course to hang with the top guys.
Conditions weren't as hairy as the previous 2 days but rather a modest 15-22k and a flat water flood tide. The avanti 10.0 came alive in terms of performance and I was able to use it all 3 races. I had my mast track pegged a bit more forward and everything felt dialed. My starts were much better popping out from the pack and getting a clear lane to grind upwind. Its times like these when everything lines up that keeps me coming back.
Details form the race are a little fuzzy at this point but I do recall making the biggest gains right from the start off the line with good starts. My 1st 2 races I got off the line on port tack with a few others and held strong up the long beat to windward. Im beginning to finally realize what it takes to fly the 64cm fin efficiently. You really need to keep on your toes to keep the foil trimmed correctly or your angle suffers. Downwind- it's a dream through the chop and swell.
I was playing things a bit conservatively in the flood tide by overstanding and that probably cost me 1 or 2 places but better to be safe than have to double tack the windward mark. Downwind, its just the opposite- you can take advantage of the flood tide by understanding the leeward gate and pushing hard in the flood tide for big gains.
Since we were sailing a single lap course, the legs were quite long so you needed to be aware of how sailing next to the shore would affect the boundaries of the course. I finally nailed it by rounding the leward gate and heading outside and not tacking back until I could cross last chance beach, Once there- you could tack and take advantage of the inside southerly lift and almost make the line wile the others who banged the outise corner had to deal with the flood tide across the bows and with out a doubt had to double tack the finish line.
The last race I rounded 3rd behind Al and Schurman. I had a good lane on Al upwind and was confident I had him but Schurman and the rest of the fleet went inside. Who to cover?
I stuck with my gut and went outside and the puffs inside were still random. The mistake I made was overestimating how much flood was left. When Al tacked for the finish, I waited another 10 seconds but this was too much as he called the layline perfectly and snagged 2nd. We almost got Schurman as he was struggling inside with lighter air.
Overall- very happy.
Now off to the gorge for the US Nationals.