Sunday, July 17, 2011

Digging deep on the last day of the US Windsurfing Nationals

Going into the last day of the US Nationals I knew what I had to do:
Up my game in order to get back the 4 points I lost to Sylvester in Friday's long distance race.
It wouldn't be easy as the clock was ticking down to the last possible start at 4pm and the possibility of only 2 races.
The setup couldn't be more ideal- a chance to race in light wind after having raced in mostly powered up conditionals all week.
At 2:45 we hot the water. I was ready- armed with my best light-medium air set up of a NP 10.7 and Z super soft fin.
I got rolled at the start as Schurman and Phil sailed under and on top of me. No where to go but tack off. I was still in the pack rounding the top mark with Steve, Mike, Soheil and Eric rounding in a tight group as the leaders got a good jump on the fleet. Maris was sailing a great race in 4th- finally getting his gear tuned up for the bumpy conditions the SF Bay offers
I sailed down the right side of the course with Eric as the others gybed off for more pressure near the pier.
After rolling Eric to leeward downwind with better speed, I saw that we had made significant gains on the boards inside. I kept the pace upwind sailing back to the outside where although it was a but lighter, I was able to optimize my upwind VMG. I rounded the top mark in 5th trying to real Maris in but he was flying with his 11m rig. The usual suspects rounded out the top 3 with Phil just edging out Wilhelm for 2nd and Paulo taking another bullet.
I looked back and saw Sylvester had not recovered well and got stuck in 8th.
The gap was down to 2 point. All I needed to do was put one board between us in the last race and I'd move back into 5th overall.
GBR-451 didn't fare so well breaking a mast in the opening moments of race 1 and hustling to get back to shore to get on his 10.7 for the next race.
Making sure I got a good start, I really got off the line well and played the outside with Schurman as the other tacked back for pressure at the pier.
We tacked back and looked really good. I rounded in 3rd just behind Paulo and Wilhelm.
Downwind I sailed conservatively trying not to loose anything although Phil was catching up.
We split tacks again on the upwind as Phil tried for more pressure at the pier and myself on the outside.
This time it was his turn and he just edged me out getting to the top mark a few seconds before me.
I held onto 4th looking back to see a few boards between S3 and myself.
I was super stoked. I had a goal for the day, sailed my best and met the goal.

But it wasn't over yet- S3 filed for redress in race 1 as the RC safety boat made an abrupt movement right into his path causing him to stop and loose some time.
How much time was the key factor that the jury would need to decide.
I was one point ahead so any redress points awarded to him would affect me.
As a result I was invited into hearing as an interested party.
I made sure the redress was filed correctly and listened to make sure the detais were correct.
Then, when I got the turn to speak, I made the case that S3 should be awarded average points for the day vs average points for the regatta as today's conditions were an unique set of circumstances we hadn't seen earlier in the week. If S3 was awarded average points for the regatta he would surely beat me. If he was awarded average points for the day, I would remain ahead.

The Jury decided between the 2 and gave him an average of 6th place which put us in a tie for 5th overall.
Looking at how the tie breakers are determined in windsurfing with appendix B , the sailor with the best throw out wins. I had a 7th vs S3's 8th.
I learned a lot in this hearing seeing how jury weighs their options for redress and how you need to present your case well.

At the end of the day, Steve and I were both pretty amicable about the whole thing. Its hard to let these things get in the way of the racing but it's all part of the game

Top 5:1- BRA-333
2- BRA-999
3- KA-7
4 GBR-451
5 USA-4

Full results
More event coverage from waterhound
Shawn Davis Photos:

1 comment:

USA 00 said...

Congrats Steve on 5th place finish.

Sorry I missed attending this year's Nationals and missed helping Shawn as his photographer's assistant. It would have been good to see you all racing again.

Weeds on the fin reminds me of Lake Winnebago racing years ago!