Wednesday, July 25, 2012

US Windsurfing Nationals: Take it while you can get it.

US Windsurfing Nationals Day 3 from American Windsurfing Tour on Vimeo.

The forecast looks meager at best during this weeks us windsurfing nationals in the gorge.
Day 1 started with 3 formula course races in 10-16k then building to 14-18k before we switched to slalom where 6 heats were run.
So far consistency has paid off with no over earlies & no big bummers. Except for a slalom mast breaking in the beach I was pretty consistent with a 3-3-3 in formula behind Phil and Xavier. I used 10.7 in first 2 races before switching down to 10.0 for last race. Racing was close with the top 3 walking away from the rest if the fleet. Out front was McGain and then Xavier and finally myself battling it out. I was able to get good starts on starboard and hold my angle well upwind. The Np 10.7 really trucks downwind in the 12-15k range.
Last start I got below a few slow starters and had too work my back though the fleet. The 10.0 was well powered in 16-18k and I managed to get back to third by tacking back early in the 2nd upwind beat and getting a nice lift behind Wells island right to the mark.
We had a 30min break before switching to slalom where I again was constant with 3 4th places. I was playing it safe not trying to make any mistakes but fully charging in the 1st and 2nd beats.
After that it's kind of a parade so I must concentrated in making all my gybes. The slalom hears are divided into 4 groups of 11 sailed each so 22 on the line or each start.

US Windsurfing Nationals Day 2 from American Windsurfing Tour on Vimeo.

Day 2
Slow start for the breeze to fill in with a 1pm start & 3 course races followed by 3 slalom races.
Wind was lighter than the previous days so 10.7 was working well. I charged hard off the line and was going back and forth with Xavier for 2nd behind Phil. It can down to the last gybe where I was able to squeeze past him by pumping just a bit harder and get going 2 seconds sooner.
Sometimes that's all it takes!

Race 2 started with me winning the pin and getting a good jump on the fleet and was climbing on Phil on starboard tack but his angle seemed better better matched on port. I was running the z 71 fin with the 10.7 with good speed. Downwind I had Bruce for 2nd but it looked like the tacking angles were similar to yesterday so I tried to tack back and gain on Phil but ended up loosing Bruce as both he and Phil were able to make the layline in 1 tack. Downwind it was Bruce who just snuck by Phil at the finish but it turned out Bruce was osc.
Great lesson- keep your cover.

Race 3 started similarly with most of the fleet on starboard except Xavier was looking to comeback strong as he broke a harness line in the previous race. I switched down to my 10.0 as it was already 18-22k. Speed and angle were very good. Xavier was a bit closer to Phil charging the front while I was going back and forth with Bruce. He finally got me in the last downwind as I finished 4th.
Another 1/2 hour break and off again for 3 rounds of slalom.
I was way more consistent today at least for the last 2 races where I picked up a 2nd & 3rd. In race 1 I got hosed at the first mark with Percy sailing right over me as I went down.
The next 2 races I again charged hard making the big gains at mark 1. I feel really comfortable with the 7.8 and ml slalom. The board gybes really well and comes up on a plane soon after coming out of the gybes. I was running a 44cm carbon fin in 16-22k.
At the end of the day- sailing good but still some room to improve as always.
3rd in formula & 4th or 5th in slalom.
1 more day of racing to finish this 8 day windsurfing bender of 2 back to back regattas.

1 comment:

bry said...

Awesome updates Steve-o!