Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's all about the flood....

This week, it's all about the flood!
With the spring tides still quite strong and the regular thermals- not quite here yet, it took more than just the slalom board and 6.3 to get going this week at crissy field.
As luck would have it, a friend dug out some older formula equipment for me to use- while awaiting the rest of my gear to arrive from Europe. Despite, it's age and lack of monofilm SNAP, the ML5 and 11. North Warp from 2005 got me out on the water again while the wind snobs waited on the beach.
Soheil, Lyn, Royce and I managed a few decent runs on Tuesday up and down the city front- lining up and testing speed and angle. Even with the older gear, I remained competitive in terms of getting up on a plane, staying on a plane, and upwind and downwind speed. The only thing that suffered was upwind angle with the narrower board and stiffer R13 fin. The newer generation of wider tailed boards and softer fins allow you to really maximize the formula expereince! The dynamic feel just isnt there with the older gear but thats a tribute to the evolution of the gear over the past 3 years.
The biggest thing I noticed was how you use your gear.
If you are efficient in terms of pumping, transitions and sail trim- you can go a long way...but not quite to the south tower on wednesday as the flood tide prevented us from getting close.
Soehil and I noticed the 'crazy eddies' forming just inside the south tower of the Golden Gate as the flood reforms. It comletely washed me out a few times as we rode the swell in under the midspan. Once we turned downwind though, it was a mgic carpet ride back to Crissy with the help of the 4knot flood pulling us along.
The currents and tides in the SF Bay can do some amazing things. In one area, you might see a jacked up voodoo chop- like a wall of water- then in another area of the Bay, the water is as smooth as butter. Its intersting to note, how your VMG changes as you sail through different tidal areas. Pinching up on port tack in the flood is that way to go- keeping your bow into the current but on starboard tack, youve got to take advantage of the speed the flood offers- even while grunting upwind.
It's never a dull moment windsurfing in the SF Bay with all the different conditions the tides and winds throw at you!

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