Friday, April 10, 2015

1st kite foil race: postmortem

After nearly 17 days of learning and getting the hang of the foiling kiteboard- I thought I might be able to get around the course. A major feat still- seeing how I can't even go downwind, tack or gybe yet but even the the worse case scenario was- a ride back in the safety boat supplied by the St.FYC and the Thursday night kiteboarding series.

The wind was light to medium so I laid both the 10m and 13m race kite on the beach but quickly realized I had only 1 race bar that fit them both. What could possibly go wrong?

I launched the 13.5 ASV and was quickly overpowered in the gusts but underwhelmed in the holes near shore. I foiled downwind to the starting line, checked in and made a few practice runs across the starting line. It certainly was a bit un nerving being around 30 other kites when I dont even have that good of control myself but I managed to start a good 30 seconds late and avoid any conflicts. 
Whoohoo- last year at the this time when I first started on the raceboard, it took me several races just to get across the start line. At least, Id made some progress. 

This year it seems like I'm starting over again for the 3rd year in a row.
Year 1 saw me learning to kite on the directional board.
Year 2 saw me learning to ride the course board
Year 3 seems me learning to ride the foil.

For the most part- the first beat was good. I stayed foiling upwind and locked in but when I went to transition at the beach, the kite became unhooked from the harness. Oh boy! 
A quick struggle and lack of relaunch in the light wind had me pulling the plug and swimming in as I was just downwind from Anita rock. The safety boat saw me swimming and offered a lift to the beach. 
Maybe, Id be able to make the next race but realized my 1 working bar was tightly wound with no chance for an easy transfer. 

Sometimes, preparation is just as important as skill in any stage of the game. I was out for the night but got to watch the remainder from shore- getting a better idea of how its all done. 
The video from race 3 shows the light air at the beach and everyones attempt to tack through it. Vlad has some choice works for Daniela, his daughter when she decides to gybe instead of tack and puts her foil kite in the water. Its the same spot where I went down and Ill be the 1st to admit- I should have just avoided that area all together and just went outside to where there was more breeze. 
Live and learn. 
Next weeks goal: Get around the course!

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