Sunday, May 31, 2009

SF Formula racing in full swing again

As if 6 out of the last 7 days powered up on formula gear wasn't enough...
The last 2 days saw 10 more races in the Friday night series and a competitive day of formula racing at the Calcup in Berkeley.
The quiver is beginning to get more dialed in as I put more time on each sail, fin and find the best settings. So far, Im really happy with the results and performance just needing to capitalize on calling my laylines better and of course nailing every start.
With the development and progression of F4 fins, the SF fleet is really pushing again.
Locals, Al Mirel, Chris Radkowski and Ben Bamer have been getting the fin line up to speed with some good results.
Al kept the heat on friday night with consistent 1, 1, 2, 2 results while I had a series of 1, 1, 2, 3 to finish 1 point behind Al for the night. Eric was right up there with his custom Mike Z fin but decided tried to make a quick switch down to 10 in race 4 which saw him late for the start.
In race 1, I was hot off the blocks, getting a good start but overstanding the top mark with Al and Chris in tow. Eric, always keen to nail the laylines- got a jump with David and Jean to lead around the course with a close finish of the top 5 boards within 10 seconds.
Race 2 -4 saw a constant battle back and forth between Al and I as we both had similar angle upwind. After the 3rd race I moved my mast track back a 1/2" and found a bit better upwind performance. I seemed to have an advantage downwind with the bigger sail - especially as we came in side where the wind was lighter. I still believe the kashy fin has a more advantage downwind in terms of speed but its the guy who gets around the course fastest that winds the race.
racing photos by Arnaud Lepert,
The Friday night series is more about board handling, transitions and calling laylines than anything else. You may be the fastest but if you can't nail the start, and make every tack and gybe with consistency, you'll be left wondering what happened as the fleet sails by.
The final race saw the RC putting the kabash on any chance I had for a decent start with a call of 'USA 4 over early.' I quickly made my way back for a dip restart and powered back through the fleet to round the top mark in 5th and make my way downwind with a nice puff at the beach that the leaders were too early for. As we gybed around B, Al and Eric were out in front and I almost overtook them off the breeze but simply ran out of room on the last upwind leg with no options left.
Saturday was the 2nd CalCup series of the season after the last attempt was skunked at Coyote.
The best part of the day wasn't necessarily the racing but seeing the St. Francis junior windsurfing program being run off the Berkeley docks. There's a new generation of young kids taking up the sport with the help of the St. Francis Yacht Club. They've now got a trailer full of Bic Techno's and trainer rigs and are on the water at least 1-2 time s a week. It was also great to see several new faces and sailors taking part in the B and C fleet.
As we waited for the tide to come in and allow the formula fleet to launch off the docks, it looked like the wind was coming up to a decent 15-20k around the corner.
Almost all of the fleet was on their 10's as the Berkeley chop adds another dimension to board and sail handling.
Race 1 saw Chris and Al and at least one other sailor try to port tack the fleet. I had a really great timed start at the boat with not much competition as the rest of the fleet was a bit late.
As I worked my way up the left side of the course out in front, I kept looking over my shoulder trying to find the top mark. I knew I was getting close but realized I had overstood some when the guys below my tacked and laid the mark. There went my lead but still, I was able to come down with speed and round in first and keep control of the rest of the race. Sylvester caught up to 2nd and put some pressure on the last leg but wasn't quite enough.
I thought Id give the port start a try in Race 2- only because it eliminated the chance of overstanding the top mark as you have to tack 3/4 of the way up the port beat when you hit the Berkeley pier. As Al, Chris and I ducked the starboard tackers, we all made our way up the course with similar angle. Downwind though is where I pulled away and tried to reel in Steve and Eric in the lead. I positioned myself for a good leeward rounding and started to climb well to windward. Eric, Steve and myself all came into the finish pretty close. Eric was the first to tack and nailed a port end finish grabbing the bullet from Sylvester and putting myself in 3rd.
Race 3: I beleive I rounded to top mark in 1st again with a sizable lead after a good starboard start and good 1st 2 legs but overstood the layline for the last bottom mark and Sylvester capitalized from behind and we were coming into the leeward mark and were pretty close and well lit. I was the inside boat but didn't quite have the overlap yet so had to back off to give Steve room to gybe on the last mark rounding. In doing so, I tried to carve sharply and dropped the rig. Fortunately, the rest of the fleet was 20 seconds behind and I got up to finish 2nd.

Race 4 was a bit fuzzy and I cant remember any details except some excitement on the first layline when I tacked onto port and immediately realized Percy was coming in hot on starboard just as I got up to speed. We both slammed on the breaks to avoid a collision and as quickly as I could, sailed a 360 to clear myself from the foul and was on my way again. Putting myself that far back, I didn't have much a chance to catch up with the leaders and simply joined the parade around the course. Noticeably absent was Eric who was TKO as he went over the handle bars and broke a batten and had to sail in to make a switch.
Finally Race 5 saw action from the Bay areas most famous footer- Ben Bamer. As many recall, Ben is smoking hot on the course but as luck would have it- usually has his share of disasters to deal with. Earlier in the day, he was set back with a broken mast.
Not to be put down completely, he managed a clean start in race 5 in the middle of the line and footed to the left with better speed than everyone above him. As you would expect, Ben had to overstand the top mark somewhat to compensate for his lack of angle. Now with the top 4 guys tacked and laying the port layline, Ben makes his way over all of us and just kills us with his bad air. One by one he sailed over us and gassed us and was able to just squeeze around the top mark. Eric was the only other one to make it around the top mark as he was the first to get gassed and immediately went into pointing mode. Al, Chris, Steve and I all had to double tack to make the starboard rounding. After that it was simple a parade but think I managed to pick Chris off to finish 4th.
That should have been enough to put me in 2nd or 3rd for day- depending on Al and my throwouts.
Overall though, Im happy the way the season is progressing nearly 2/5 of the way through it already. At this point, Im not necessarily looking for victories (although they are nice) but still trying to find every opportunity to improve and make advances in my setup. The goals for the season are to finish strong at the US Nationals this July in the Gorge and hopefully make a better performance than last year at the World Championships in Spain this September.
Thanks to Emmet for CalCup photos

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An ounce of prevention..

There's been some chatter on our calcup yahoo groups lately about reinforcing the front end of your formula boom head. Call it preventative maintenance or just plain common sense. The result gives you a bit more confidence in your gear- giving you the opportunity to push harder + prevents the opportunity for catastrophic failure. A lot of racing has to do with preparation before the race even begins.
To top it off, the cost of replacing a broken boom with a new one is about 10x the cost of the repair. Finally, any chance you have to upgrade to the Maui Sails head will be well worth it. The Streamlined head is still way better than the stock heads but comes with its own set of issues. No sitings yet of North's new ifront boom end but it looks like it wont work on a beefed up boom.

Several California sailors have put there 2 cents in at the same time I was about to embark on my latest carbon endeavor. Thanks to Soheil, Joe Roth and Royce for contributing to this instructional guide to reinforcing a formula boom head.

What you'll need: 2 part epoxy, electrical tape,(peel ply- optional), bi directional carbon, plastic mixing bowl, plastic gloves, foam brush and squeegee.
1. Begin by taking off the existing boom head.

2. Remove the boom grip for about 2 inches back from the front (gives you more area to wrap and beef up). Use a rough file.

3. Sand exposed carbon boom arms to rough them up and also to remove any grip glue in the area you will be wrapping.4. Next comes the Carbon prep.
Cut a strip of carbon about 3-6 inches wide and long enough to wrap continuously from one side to the other (grip to grip) with some overlap.

5. Do a dry test wrap with this strip to get a feel for how you will be wrapping, and to make sure you'll have enough carbon for full coverage.

6. Put on some gloves (more than 1) and do the rest of the steps in the garage and/or over some plastic and paper where dripping epoxy resin won't upset your wife or girlfriend or landlord!

7. Mix your 2 part epoxy resin well. I used West Systems regular curing speed (not the slow cure stuff...), that you can get at West Marine.
Incidentally, I bought my carbon cloth at Tap Plastics.

8. Use a brush to coat the to-be-wrapped areas of the boom with a thin layer of epoxy.

8.1 If you have a long, 6' or so, flat surface on which you can lay out the 3" to 6" wide cut strips of carbon over a piece of plastic or a couple of layers of wax paper.
Then pour some epoxy over the carbon strips and using a small plastic epoxy squeegee or foam brush and completely wet out the tape and squeegee off the excess.
Next roll up the wet carbon strips onto a cardboard roll (covered with packing tape so that the epoxy doesnt soak into cardboard)

9. Unwrap your cloth tightly around the boom from the tube you wrapped it on, ensuring that it wets out with epoxy as you go. Use your wet brush to add epoxy to any dry areas. This is a messy job-especially with the loose ends of carbon, but use preseverance and work quickly to avoid the epoxy from hardening too much.
10. Once you've gone grip to grip with your carbon wrap, use some peel ply cloth and/or electrical tape to TIGHTLY wrap over your wet carbon wrap job. This will squeeze out excess resin and cause your carbon to adhere firmly to the boom head without any voids. This is called the poor man's vacuum bag.

11. Let the whole thing cure overnight, and then unwrap the electrical tape/peel ply bandages. These don't stick to the cured epoxy, and should peel off fairly easily.

12. You might want to sand down any rough spots so that your boom
won't cut your hands during normal handling.

13. Now, your old boom head will not fit because your boom arms are
fatter where you wrapped them, so you will have to either retrofit an
aftermarket head meant for fatter booms, or somehow modify the
bushings from your old head to make them thinner. Depending on which
boom head you have, the manufacturer might have thinner bushing
available (Streamlined and Maui Sails boom heads have 2 or more
bushing thicknesses available). You might still have to sand or shim
these in order to get your boom head to fit as your wrap job is custom
and not any particular known thickness.
The result of all this is adding a few years onto your carbon boom.
Im pushing my 5th season with a blue HPL boom I reinforced several years ago.

*This great tip was sent to me by Anders Petersson- who knows a thing or 2 about carbon endevours:. Great stuff, but I would add one final step. You should protect the reinforced boom head with a clear coat of polyurethane. Most brands of epoxy are unstable to UV radiation and will eventually break down if exposed to sun light. An added benefit is that the clear coating makes the carbon look much nicer.-

Monday, May 25, 2009

Power Sailing

Its been one of those weeks.
The wind has been relentless.
Everyday, if you want it, it's there...waiting for you.
25-30k on the outside.
Gust so strong, you ask yourself what the hell you're doing sailing formula gear.
Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

That was the case the last 2 days sailing op'ed on the 9 and 10m north warps.
The new 2009 north's have a reduced clew and shorter booms.
The result is amazing control both upwind and downwind.
The 9.0 and 11.0m 2009 sails rig much flatter than previous year's versions but the key, it seems is to run them fat with lots of tack strap pressure and a negative outhaul. I also immediately moved my harness lines back 1/2'-3/4' to get some additional power. So far, running the downhaul at or past the max mark hasn't yielded any significant gains- even in the most stupid conditions.
Wednesday we saw some big puffs come through with most the the guys on the 9.8's steadily powered. I was able to really capitalize off the breeze, sailing the 9.0 in absolute control- not giving up anything. Upwind, in the lighter patches, standing the 9.0 up right easily transfers the power to speed. Im really amazed on how good the shorter boom and clew length add to the performance and handling of the sail.
Saturday saw a 2nd session on the new north 9.0 in what seemed like a steady 30k westerly at the beach with gusts pushing well beyond that on the outside. In that much wind, it's all about control- no matter what gear you have. Holding it down was a handful but manageable. Pinching upwind was the key. Downwind I was in the super chicken just trying to keep the board under control. Transitions were the toughest but if you made them quick and popped the cams, it all seemed to be ok. I even ran a 64cm C3 D series fin from a few years ago that just kept the board flying with out ever being too much.
Sunday saw another very overpowered session on the 2008 10.0. I kept this sail in my quiver as it was such a solid performer last season, I didn't want to let it go. A 10.0 is the bread a butter of any San Francisco Formula sailors quiver. It's got to perform well in both the upper and lower limits of its wind range. Saturday, I rigged the sail with a 550 mast vs a 520 and although it felt different, but Im not convinced it was any slower. Again, I was running a smaller fin but the kashy 68 was still alot off the breeze. Upwind, it's possible to really pinch this set up and sail effectively but Im beginning to realize a smaller fin is essential for more control and speed off the breeze- especially as the sea state increases.
Despite the breeze outside, this weeks trend has been lighter on the inside- perfect for testing the 2009 north warp 11.0. Paired with the 72-2xxs kashy and 70xs kashy, this set up with the starboard 160 has been unbelievably easy to sail fast. I had angle right from the beginning by really running the sail as full as I could. With the shorter boom, the 11.0 seems like it can handle more wind and still be sailed in control. Maybe its that new sail feeling, but the sail pumped so easily and felt attached in every condition. I haven't felt a sail this good in a long time. Perfect from the get-go.
The starboard 160 has been a real workhouse in all conditions- sailing very comfortably in the most overpowered gnarly SF voodoo chop that Bay can throw at it and still easily finding the groove in lighter 11.0 conditions. So far, its matched up as well or better than the L8 and exocet boards in every condition we've seen so far.
2 more upcoming races this week with a Friday night series at the St.Francis and a CalCup on Saturday. Let's hope the wind continues.

Meanwhile the collegiate dinghy nationals continue all this week at the StFYC with the womens championship continuing to May 27th and the co'ed championship from June 1-3. The racing was in the lee of the harbor today with great viewing from marina green and the wave organ. As usualy, Shawn Davis was there to capture all things nautical.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buy Steve's racing quiver

For sale:
2007 north warp 9.0 in mint condition.
2005 north warp 10.0- good deal for someone looking to get into formula for cheap!
2005 north warp 11.0- good deal for someone looking to get into formula for cheap!
2005 north warp 5.8 complete rig with 430 mast, alum base and boom

Kashy 70 cm xs fin- only if you want (and can afford) the best
Techtonics 60 and 64 cm g10 formula fins

F2 105l sx medium slalom board + 36 cm g10 fin- great all around slalom board- 6.3 to 7.8 range
F2 125l sx large slalom board + 42 cm g10 fin- light to medium wind slalom board 7.3-10.0 range

Contact me @ bodnersp AT for additional info and prices

Another Friday night of racing on the SF city front

With just 2 points separating the top 3 racers after 5 races, last Friday night's twilight was as close as they get. So close, that it came down to the last tack on the last beat.
Eric looked like he had things wrapped up as he rounded the last leeward mark in front with myself and Al in close pursuit but Al's countless years on racing on the city front course paid off as he called the lay line to the pin and jumped from 3rd to 1st in the last seconds of the race edging both Eric and I out to take the final bullet and series.
I made a few sloppy calls- overstanding marks, getting called osc and even getting tossed like a little girl in race 3- which set me back a few points and grasping for anything I could get.
In this fleet, you need to sail consistently and smart to finish on top.

Most everyone started on their 11's as the inside was still not filling in completely and with Jean on the RC calling the course, we knew we would be running some old school multi gybe courses.

In race 1, I scored the first bullet edging C-Rad out on the last leg. He had some amazing acceleration upwind with his F4 D series fins, squirting out from the fleet at the start but I managed to get the tactical advantage, with inside lift on the first beat upwind. On the downwind, we saw some big puffs roll through which sent Al and Chris back to the beach after the race searching for the 10's. Eric stuck with his 11- which would be the right call as the night progressed. I managed to squeeze out everything I had with my 10 but in the light stuff, it just wasn't enough.As they say, rig for the lulls, survive the gust!
Race 2 saw more close action at the front of the fleet with Eric, Al and I finishing 1-2-3.
I over- cautiously overstood the top mark thinking it would be light up there again but in doing so, lost my chance to stay in the top pack. I clawed back through the fleet with some good sailing, staying in the breeze the rest of the race.
Race 3 saw Eric and David got to the top mark in the lead with the 11's. By overstanding, I cam in hot- edging out C-Rad and Al but as I turned the corner, I had nothing to pump with and Eric and David sailed away with their bigger rigs. Nothing to do but wait for the next puff and finish 3rd.
Race 4 was the craziest of them all with the wind up in the high teens and bigger southerly puffs coming down from the Presidio hills. I thought I had the perfect start- fully powered at the gun and the mark but Jean with his eagle eyes on the race deck called me over early and I had to dip back through the line to restart. Clawing my way back through the fleet, I found myself at the top mark in 5th but as luck would have it, Al and I scored a personal southerly puff which drove us straight downwind along the shore as the rest of the fleet gybed to the outside. As we gybed over towards the outside as we were sailing course C, Al went down hard as a classic SF puff took him out.
Thinking to myself, "ok, Ive got this wrapped up" (from last to 1st in a matter of 1-1/2 legs), overconfidence struck and I went down harder than Ive in a long time- getting catapulted over the front- ending up fulling twisted hooked in my rig upside down.
Shaken, I got up fast and managed to squeeze out another 3rd by sailing smart the last leg and tacking immediately after the leeward mark in search of the breeze and catching a few boards in the process.
Determined to finish strong, I put everything I had into the last race, but again again made 1 too many mistakes to get into the lead. By overstanding the top mark, I let Al really catch up. Eric had a nice jump but coming down from the last gybe mark, it was getting lighter and I almost sailed right over the top of him but with the layline quickly approaching and Al riding the next puff from behind, I hesitated on the gybe and let Al sneak in there. I backed off giving the 2 some room and myself an opportunity to pinch up and go for angle the last leg. I was eeking as much as I could out of my kashy 70 and bagged out 10 for plently of climbing angle but Al made the first tack. I held off for another second but he managed to get going just a hair faster and was on his way. Trying to determine the best VMG with Al a few board lengths to leeward, I went for the angle again but just not enough as we finished within a board length of each other.
Another great night racing on the SF city place I'd rather be!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

more spring training on the SFcity front

From the a week and a half of fog to regular thermals again...that's more like it!
The weather system finally switched around so that we are getting a regular sea breeze again with 15-25k in the middle of the bay but the inside has been sketchy and shutting down early.
That was the case for last Friday night's twilight series @ the StFYC.Just 4 races could be run as the fleet struggled to get around Anita rock in the building flood and dying breeze of the last race.
It was a tough call on what to rig as Eric and I rigged our 10 and 11's near the sea wall while the breeze was still pumping but signs of big holes were everywhere on the inside of the course. I ultimately choose the 11 with most of the fleet following suit.
Race 1 got off with the fleet heading heading upwind from mid line with Al and I getting a good jump at the start. I rounded Anita in first and led on the downwind only to have Al follow and immediately tack after the leeward mark to get out of the flood and into better breeze. I tacked as soon as I saw it but it was too late. Al got the bullet with myself and C-Rad following in 2nd and 3rd. Eric was buried in the fleet behind Wells and Jean- powered on the new Aerotech sails.

Race 2 started with a similar scenario as the puffs were more infrequent on the inside but as they say, timing is everything. Eric got a great lift to climb on the fleet as most of the guys started mid-line to get out to the breeze. Eric even tacked early and made the Anita while the rest of us overstood to come in with speed. The puffs were a handful with the 11.0 but we needed the exta power downwind as it lighted up.
Taking advantage of the lessons from the first race, Eric quickly tacked over after rounding the leeward mark to get the outside advantage and grab the bullet in race 2. Nothing to do but follow and cover the fleet for another 2nd.

Race 3 started in similar conditions but again Eric timed the inside puff to his advantage while the rest of us searched for better breeze down the line. As it lighted up, I was amazed to feel that my 2005 11.0 still had the power and speed to get around the course. As tempting as new sails are every year, I still think there's some advantage to knowing your gear season after season. The 2005 north sails were a great vintage as both Micah, Jimmi and Seth were involved with the development. The 11.0 had lots of low end grunt and still works great- almost 4 years later!
The starboard 160 was going well in the light stuff as well with the track back a bit further around 3/4 of the way back in the track and booms at eye level.
But not quite enouugh to get out in front as Eric managed another bullet in front of myself, Al and Chris and Jean rouunding out the top 5.
As Race 4 started, it was evident, the inside was really lightening up, so I made the call to get a good start at the pin end with speed.
30 seconds to go and I was ducking below the fleet in the middle of the line to get down to clear air.
15 seconds to go- almost clear of the last board parked on the line.
10 seconds- speed up, hooked in, feet in straps.
5 seconds- building speed down the line- approaching the pin and fast.
Gun- head up for angle and speed while trying to gas the guys behind me struggling to get going in the light stuff.
Youve got begin you run much earlier than expected in the light stuff as it takes longer to get going.
As it turned out Eric was right there with me to windward as we both got a good jump on the fleet behind. It was really light up top and the decision to tack was not one I was looking forward to making as it looked like we would be stuck in the light stuff. Eric tacked first and I continued for another 20 seconds. It was obvious Eric was not making it but soon enough I realized as well that I would fall short so I tacked again to the outside to get more breeze. Again I came across with some speed after tacking and it looked like I would make it but not quite as another light patch hit the fleet. I tacked AGAIN but quickly tacked back as I saw a small puff coming downwind. I immediatly got up on a plane and rounded Anita and was off downwind as the fleet sat parked at the top mark. That was it as I got around the rest of the course to take the final bullet and the day's racing.
With the breeze back in action and the rest of my gear finally delivered form Europe, I managed to get my slalom kit back in order for several days of training on the city front. The 7.3 is an awesome combination with the medium 105l F2 board and does almost anything in the light to medium breeze. I'm not sure you can go wrong with this combination for all around great slalom sailing! With a 42cm fin it drives upwind nicely in as little as 14k.
36cm fin sends it downwind like a bullet in anything windier.
In the lighter stuff, Ive been running the large 120l slalom F2 board with my 9.0 with the efficiency of an 11.0 and formula board. True it doesnt go upwind as well as a formula board but pumps up and drives thru the lulls easily. While the rest of the Crissy crew swims their small gear in from the outside, Ive had some great ligh twind sessions on the edge of the wind line over the past few days with this combo- even getting up to the bridge on Sunday evening and storming downwind in the flood tide. In San Francisco, its not a matter of if you can sail but when and how small to rig!
Ive scored 7 out of the last 7 days with awesome sessions.
I get more days on my 95l mikes lab slalom board and north warp 6.3 than any other combo.
Having a narrower tail board drives thru the voodoo chop better and can carve a tighter gybe in OP'ed conditions. Moving the booms to below medium on the boom cutout and adding another 1cm of down haul makes the 6.3 able to handle puffs into the 30's
As usual, Shawn Davis was there to capture some great shots this past week.
Be sure to check out his latest photo blog posting @
as well as his 2009 windsurfign gallery @

Monday, May 4, 2009

Into the white...

Sometimes it doesn't blow 15-25k out of the west in San Francisco.
It's rare- but with a clearing wind, the regular thermals shut down and instead we had a southerly 5-14k, oscillating breeze with some ripe tides and plenty of fog for the 2009 Elvstrom-Zellerbach regatta at the StFYC this past w-end.
2 days of tactical light wind racing was the call for the 5 dinghy and board sailing fleets taking part in this w-ends regatta.

David Wells captured some good shots of the dinghy fleets racing before our warning late in the afternoon. With all 6 fleets racing on the same course, it became a crowded affair- as you can see from the photos to follow. David's sailing album can be found here. Interesting enough, the 505 fleet was loaded at the front with Paul Cayard & Howie Hamlin. Check out Pauls' report @
Saturday's light-wind zephyrs left the formula fleet ashore while the Finn, Laser, Laser radials, 29'er's and 505 raced a windward leeward course- starting in the middle of the shipping channel up to a windward mark just in front of the club. Finally around 2:30 Percy and I ventured out with our Hansen 12.4 and North 12.3 rigs to show that it could be done. Sure enough the rest of the fleet was out with their big 11m rigs. Percy and I had a big advantage with our bigger rigs but there was still plenty of holes to get caught in. By lap 2 of 3, I escaped from the rest of the fleet who got stuck at the top mark with no wind but my angles downwind weren't even close to getting any VMG towards the leeward mark. The 12.3 has a lot of grunt- especially off the breeze but was no match for what was coming next. At that point, the RC abandoned the race and the real fight began to get back to shore in the huge ebb and non planning winds. Adam was the only smart one in the group when he figured he'd mount his 10.7 onto his superlight board. At least he was making headway on the way in!

Wells also captured some shot of me on the12.3 practicing before the race.
The complete album can be found here as well as his witty comments.

Sunday's forecast didn't look much better as the shifty offshore, gusty breeze made for another tactical day of racing. The formula fleet was the last to start in the sequence but I watched the previous fleets making better progress upwind by starting on port and taking the first beat with the outgoing ebb tide. We got off a start with most of the fleet on port- heading out with tide. I was climbing well with Wells, Al and Soheil below me to leeward.
At that point, the fog was so thick, it was anybodies guess as to where the lay line was. Al tacked first and was soon out of sight in the fog. Soheil next and finally I flopped over only to realize a minute later that I was well above Crissy field and had to run downwind against the current to get to the top mark.
Never underestimate the outgoing tide- especially in a light breeze!
David disappeared into the white on port tack- only to be seen at the next start.
I was dukin' it out with Percy who sailed a smart 2nd upwind and got the top mark just before me. He carried on starboard a bit too long after the offset mark and I was able to gybe quickly in between the fleet of lasers and 505's and narrowly escaped.

The 12.3 was really trucking off the breeze and I was catching up with Al and Soheil in front of me on the last leg. I gybed just to the inside of Soheil and carried down a nice puff only to run out of room at the finish letting Al finish a few seconds in front of me.

Arnaud Lepart captured most of action in a great sequence of events as we rounded the offset mark- set in the lee of the StFYC and with the medley of other fleets.
The original can be found here. Thank you for the great shots.

Race 2 started with all of the fleet starting on port tack again. In the middle of the bay, the breeze was up to the mid teens and the 12.3 was beginning to be a handful as I struggled to hold it down in the puffs. Soheil was right below me and not giving up and inch on the first beat. Im not sure the sequence of events next but knew I stayed in the lead and got the bullet in race 2.

Now is when I made the biggest mistake and sailed in to switch down to my 10.0. I thought the wind was coming up enough to warrant the decision but upon sailing back out to the course, realized the 10.0 was way to small- especially at the top of the course where wind was almost non existent.
Again we all overstood the top mark with Soheil doing the least damage to himself and rounding first. I was right on his tail but in the reach to the top mark, it got real light as we reached up to stay planning. Al and David realized the only option was to gybe out and come into the reach mark with some speed. Marion was even in there keeping up the pace. David and Al escaped while the rest of us sat parked at the top offset mark. Percy, with just a bit more power and determination than me pumped up onto a plane and got me for 3rd place in the final race of the day.

Arnaud Lepart was there again as the action unfolded at the top mark.
Some great shot- thanks for the wonderful sequence.

It was Al's consistency that won him the regatta. I may have had better speed but he was right there at every step waiting for the top guy to make a mistake. That's the great fun about racing in this fleet- there's not one sailor consistently winning all the time but plenty of people ready to jump and take the lead. After 3 races, it was Al in first, me in 2nd and Percy in 3rd.
Overall, quite happy with my set up early in the season. Saturday I ran the 72-2 xxs kashy with the base 3/4 of the way back in the track and the booms 75% up- although I bumped them up just before the race which added some additional power. Sunday, I ran the 70 xs kashy with the 12.3 on the starboard 160 as the wind looked like it would come up more. In hindsight, I wished I would have stuck with the 72 and 12.3 combo that worked so well before. Now just waiting for the 11.0 to arrive to complete the quiver.