Saturday, March 1, 2003

2003 Midwinters-

I've just returned from a bit of cross training in Florida where I competed in the Calema Midwinter Championship in Merritt Island, FL on the first weekend in March. The event was sailed on Formula boards, a bit different from the Olympic class windsurfer, but the same tactics and board handling! The wind was lighter than expected over the 3 days but we got 6 good races in to complete the series with 82 sailors in the formula fleet. I had some new sails and a fast Mistral board thanks to a sponsorship from NorthSports and help from Micah Buzianis.

Day One: 3 races in light rain and wind at 10-12k. My starts have improved much and I was able to get off the line with speed and in front row. Up wind I was just behind the main pack but speed seemed to suffer some downwind with a 10.9 m2 sail-just not big enough in the light stuff. We sailed Olympic trapezoid course with 3 upwind and downwind legs so my position was going back and forth with each leg by a few positions. Only one major mistake the first day at the end of race 3 where I fell on a gybe on the last downwind leg- losing 10-12 boards in the process. Overall my finishes were decent with a 18, 13 and 30.

Day two: the wind never developed to anything steady over 6 knots so they called the racing for the day at 4pm.

Day three: With the wind back, racing started at 10:30. First race of the day saw another good start at the pin end and good upwind performance. I was able to hang in there downwind with the big sails as the wind was around 12-15 k. I finished 20th in a fleet of 82 boards. The next race the fleet was quite anxious and we had 2 general recalls with the black flag up. This means that who ever is over the starting line before the start automatically get thrown out for the race, Needless to say I was a bit more cautious at the start but managed to get off the middle of the line with speed. I played the shifts upwind and was able to squeeze around the first mark in 10th but caught my fin on the anchor line and went over the handlebars, loosing more than a few boards in the process. It was catch up from there and I ended up finishing deep around 30th. By the next race there were more holes in the course than steady wind but managed to pump and sail consistently to finish 22nd. This was good enough to get my 3rd in the lightweight class-as most of the sailors in the formula class outweighed me by 20 or more pounds! Overall I finished 19th in the fleet and was happy with my results.

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