Monday, May 1, 2006

2006 Elevstrom Regatta

Day 1: 6 boards on the line for the first race. Where
is everybody? Anyways more wind for us as the breeze
was building all afternoon to a solid 22-29k in the
afternoon for the last race. The formula class raced 4
races on the same course as the Lasers, Radials, Finns
and 29'ers. The RC called for the W course which made
some interesting downwind reaching. In the first race,
the fleet was caught by surprise by the starting
sequence. Mist were on the line but with the strong
flood got a late start. I had set my watch to 6 in but
came reaching in and was 7 sec late but won the start
with good speed and racing to the middle of the Bay
where the ebb started. Percy, Soheil, JK and Royce
were all below me and tacked early for the windward
mark but I knew there was some seriously strong flood
on the inside so I overstood and made it around in 1
tack as the rest of the fleet had to double to take to
get around the 2k flood. It was follow the leader from
then on as I made my way around the downwind slalom
back up top to the outside and a downwind finish.
Percy finished 2nd, Soheil in 3rd.
Next race, everybody on the line with decent speed
going strong. Percy had a bit of a jump on me to
windward and stated to gain some angle with the inside
lift. I went for speed to get to the ebb first. He
rounded in from of me and we did the downwind slalom
course again with a typical follow the leader pattern.
Back upwind, Percy had gained a bit as I got to the
layline but realized my harness line had broke. I
tried to manhandle it for 30 sec but realized I
wouldn't make the mark so I quickly put my rig in the
water and re-tied my lines onto the boom and got back
up to stay in 2nd with Soheil and Royce on my tail.
3rd race- breeze was building and strong ebb on the
outside made a tough patch of water to get through. RC
had 'C; course posted for fleet before us and I saw
that and thought we were on C as well. Unfortunately
they switched to A course with our class flag and I
went on to sail the wrong course. Percy and Soheil
battled it out to finish 1-2 in a comedy of errors
that say Percy bouncing off the leeward mark and
Soheil quickly catching up. I was in my own race
thinking I was sailing the correct course until I got
to the finish and didn't get a horn.
4th race- Now the breeze up strong and our fleet was
down to 3 boards as the day was taking its toll on the
sailors early in the season. Both Percy and I were
overpowered upwind on our 10's but very evenly
matched. He made it to the top mark first as I
overstood a bit and came down with speed to round a 10
board lengths behind him. Off the breeze it was a
simple downwind course going as deep as we could- feet
in the chicken or even leeward strap to stay upright
in the gnarly chop. I saw Percy loose his balance and
dig his clew into the water and go down. My chance to
take over! I made it past him did a overly careful
gybe and rounded only to stumble on my transition
upwind. Percy was quick to round behind me as I was up
hauling my sail but he to floundered in his
transition- stalling out- giving me enough time so we
could head upwind overlapped. We were both Op-ed
upwind but the real struggle came when we both tacked.
I let Mike tack early but he struggled to get going
again. I overstood to put some money in the bank and
made it around in 1 tack and continued downwind to
finish first with Percy just behind and Soheil in 3rd.
4 more races planned for Sunday with the breeze
expected to be the same- looking forward to more good
racing on the city front.
Well the battle continued into Sunday with Mike's
promises of showing up holding true. The forecast
looked to be the same but it was lighter to begin
with. Mike P rigged his 10.8 while the rest of us went
for the 10. Mike walked away the first race holding
onto a plane the whole race while the rest of us
struggled in the light conditions near shore and the
building flood.

In the second race of the day, Mike and I lead to the
top mark but Mike make a slow transition which I
quickly seized on and got away on the last downwind
and finished first. JK showed some amazing speed off
the starting line with a near perfect start at the pin
heading off the right side of the course wit the
rest of us in his bad air.
Going into race 7 we now had a drop race and we're
tied with 8 points a piece. Mike switched down to a
10.0 as the breeze was building and continued to
dominate with superior upwind angle. There wasn't much
I could do, I tried all the tricks in the bag- tacking
early to catch the puff, staying inshore to take
advantage of the flood but I just couldn't grind him
down and again we finished 1-2 with Mike in the lead.

On the last race things got considerably lighter on the
inside and we struggled to get going on the start.
Luckily some old imco habits of pumping like a madam
were instilled in me and I was able to get off the
line clear- looking back to see the rest of the fleet
standing on the line. Unfortunately that means calling
the layline on your own and I missed it by just a few
feet as Mike P rounded just onto of me and me missing
the goods and having to double tack and let Mike get
away. Olan slipped in there as well to show a solid
performance as the breeze dying to was 10-15k.

After the race, I asked Mike if I could sail the new
Hansen sail. After a few runs, I could honestly say I
was impressed with the hard work of the past few
months. The Hansen sail had a solid feel- very stable
upwind and off the breeze! I couldn't nail it down if
it was a fin or sail difference but Mike won the
regatta with some serious angle. Congrats to him and
the new line of Hansen sails!
I look forward to the rest of the season where we can
continue to develop and push each other. I hope to
see the rest of you on the line for the next Friday
night race and CalCup next w-end.

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