Saturday, December 1, 2007

Worlds Day 4

Day 4 of the Formula World Championship brought 3 more races in a shifty 14-17 knot breeze.
The course was set just off shore with a side shore breeze and the right side land shift took most of the fleet off port to the first shift. The big difference today was the "media gate" in the center of the course which required sailors to go through on 3 out of the 5 windward leeward legs. This really brought the fleet back together and changed the tactics in todays races. The finish line, a bit anti-climatically was set in the lee of the harbor just off the hotel in a giant wind shadow and 30 degree shift. If you were lucky you could pinch off the last leeward mark and just make the finish line. If not you sailed to the shore on a big knock and tacked a few times in non planning conditions just to make the line. Certainly not the best course for the World Championship but as always in racing you've got to deal with what you're dealt.
In the front of the fleet, Antoine was challenged by Gonzo and Steve Alllen and Brazilian Paulo Dos Reis but took 2 out of 3 finishes. In the final race, POL 10 and POL 11 were 1-2 with Antoine taking 3rd. Overall that gives Antoine the championship- not having to sail tomorrow's last 2 races. A real show of talent!
The Brazilian fleet has also showed some real depth with 7 sailors in the top 20! At least a half a dozen other sailors either stopped midway through as the last week of racing and training in the sun has taken its toll. My hands are ready to fall off already- with just 2 more races to go! : FW Worlds 2008 - day four from on Vimeo.

Most of todays racing was about good starts, quick transitions and some good technique on port tack. I had my biggest gains at the leeward mark when I got my nose up and stayed above the fleet below- pumping to the finish! I came out on the low end on the last race- loosing a few boards just sitting in below the finish line while boards came planning across from the left side!
That's racing!
Below are some good shots of different upwind technique:
It's amazing all the different possibilities that work with all the different gear available.
Thats the beauty of the Formula class- making your set up work for you.

I did get pinched out 2 times by this Italian sailor going upwind with his front hand on the uphaul. It gives him better angle but a bit slower. Off the starting line I was just above him and immediately had to duck below and go for speed. Then on the 3rd race our courses came together upwind on port when he sailed from behind and below into my leeward side. I shouted protest but let it slide at the end of the day as it wouldnt have mattered at the end of the day anyways
Overall some good racing today finishing in the mid pack and learning alot.
I was on 11.0 and 70 cm kashy going well.
Photos: Race 13 , Race 11
Results after 13 races
2 more races Sunday- hoping to finish strong!

Photo Credit: Bogo
Special thanks to the following organizations for the funding at this event:
The St. Francis Foundation, The Richmond Yacht Club Foundation and The Belvedere Cove Foundation. In addition- Eduardo Owen of NEXT SPORTS for his generous equipment sponsorship!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing that technique of using uphaul. I've done it for the fun of it, and found it points better indeed, but never seen that in racing.

Also, the angle of the board in the water is quite different for the two of you'z. I find it more difficult to control the exact tilt when holding uphaul.