Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dutch formula and slalom championships

Its been a wonderful week here in Holland with temperature and sunshine in full summer conditions. The beaches at the coast are full. Windsurfers have come from around the country over the 3 day w-end to Scheveningen for the first of 4 Dutch Championships.
The only think missing ins the wind!
With an offshore flow, the fickle breeze has been oscillating 45 degrees and just building enough strength to get the fleet out, start and then die.
After no racing yesterday, the fleet was sent out for an official race today after the 'fun race' near the shore as the wind built in the early afternoon. By 1pm we had out first start but the current was so strong that you could only get across the line on port tack. I was already on starboard making my approach when I found this out.
2minutes later, the whole fleet sat parked half way up the windward let and the race was abandoned.
Race 2 started with a 30 degree right shift just before the start. The whole fleet abandoned their port tack approach and raced back down the line to get lined up on starboard.
I was the last one to go but tacked to leeward of the fleet on the line and got a great start at the pin- not the best place for a right shift but off going the the pressure on the left.
The big lessons today were learning to watch the fleet in the pre start.
You can learn alot by just observing angles and speed around the course as sailors line up.
Not a whole lot of feeling around the course today but getting to know my equipment a bit more with each small session.
Mondays forecast looks a promising 8-10k instead of the 4-6 that we've been getting.
Well, this is dutch windsurfing!

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