Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Formula Windsurfing European Champiobnship, Leba Poland

The trip:
After a 14 hour drive from Amsterdam with 2 other dutch sailors and a trailer filled with 3 sets of formula gear, we finally made it to Leba Poland 2 days in advance of the Formula European Windsurfing Championship. It wouldn’t be an adventure if the trip went according to plan.

So it started, before we even left when the trailer lights would not sync with my Renault espace. Well at least we were driving in the day light but for the first hour and a half we stopped at every service station looking for the transition piece allowing us to drive legally across Holland, Germany and Poland. Finally we were able to get the piece and our trip continued but not before another emergency when we found the trailer door falling off the hinges and our gear beginning to spread out over the road. A quick collection of our stuff and an application of some duck tape on the trailer door fixed the problem. Finally we arrived in Leba to find the camp site closed for the night. A bit weary eyed, we booked into a hotel for the first night only to regroup in the morning and get a fresh start.

Training- Monday July 28:

Once we finally got our gear down the long road and across the beach to the event site, it was time to get out on the water to test the new fins I brought back from San Francisco.

Ive been having some trouble in the light wind so I though Id add some new fins into the quiver to see how they perform. First up was the new CRAD fin based from the former C3 design. My first impression is it really rails the board up nicely and once I lined up with a few people it was evident that it was going well – especially in the lighter stuff on my 11.8.

I also put in the new light-wind finworks fin which felt solid but not as quick upwind as the previous CRAD. Off the breeze it was flying very quickly.

Training- Tuesday July 29: With one day left to test 2 other fins, I put in a solid 4 hours on the water trying to see where my fins would fit into my final 3 I had to register for the event. First up was the finworks light wind fin again for the 2nd round of testing. Although it had more grunt and was very slippery, I couldn’t seem to make it go upwind well enough to hang in there with the top guys. The angle the top sailors are making is really incredible and I havnt found a fin yet to hang in there. Next up was the IFJU lightwind fin which certainly a had comparable low end but in my previous experience became quickly overpowered in the chop. Luckily not much chop out there besides some rolling swell which made it a great ride. Finally back to the CRAD fin for another test but alas not enough wind towards the end of the day to get any decent testing in.

So it stood, after 2 days of testing, I still did not have enough time to thoroughly understand all my fins but had to choose just 3 to register for the regatta. 2 light-wind fins and the trusty 70 cm kashy if the wind ever comes up. I had to choose what I knew so I made the hard decision and had to eliminate the finworks because I simply didn’t have enough time on it and feeling for it while the other CRAD and IFJU fin perfermed well enough to make the cut.

After registering my 11.8, 11.0 and 9.0 sails with my 2008 F2 board, I was ready for almost any condition the weather would throw at me. The other 128 sailors in nthe mens fleet would simply be obstacles to be finishing the fastest way possible.

Thanks to 'Coach deJong' for the photos

Day 1 Formula Windsurfing European Championships:

With 140 competitors rigging 2-3 rigs on the beach, the beach venue quickly filled up, especially with the crowds of Polish families making their summer vacations everywhere on the beach. As usual with the most European, we started off with the postponement flag barely flying off the flagpole on the beach. With updates every 30 minutes, the announcer was beginning to feel like a broken record….” Currently 5-6 knots but nothing more.” The fleet waited till 6 pm before we were set free for the day but the rest of the weeks forecast looks as dismal as today’s so its going to be a waiting game and trying to stay out of the intense Baltic sun.

Below are the hourly updates from the first day my send from my iphone via the wifi from the beach site:

5pm afternoon update

Still waiting for wind to develop but nothing significant above 5-6
knots. Class ruled call for 7 knots at start of race. Last possible
start 1 hour before sunset. Its going to be a long event with the rest
of the weeks forecast similar to today .

Day 1 morning update:
10 am skippers meeting... Still waiting for breeze to arrive!
129 board mens fleet

As always you can check the formula class web site for updated daily info

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the update....and keep them coming....let's hope for wind!!