Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Dinghy regatta report

Another great weekend of racing on the San Francisco city front with 91 sailors in 6 different classes spread out over 2 courses to close out our 2012 season. The formula fleet joined the kite boarders in mid afternoon starts both days while the 505's, wettas, lasers and radials all raced later morning starts and finishing by the time the big breeze rolled in.
With 6 races spread over 2 days in 15-25k, we had some great racing despite only 6 formula boards in the line up.

Our fleet is uber competitive and any 5 of those 6 sailors could win a race.
Our finishes were typically within 20-30 seconds of each other after a 15-20 min race!
There's no one sailor who has an advantage but its the one who makes the least mistake that normally takes the most wins.
Al Mirel was sailing very consistently Saturday afternoon taking all 3 bullets while CRAD, Tom, Soheil and myself all battled it out for the remaining spots. Lyn Olinger joined us as well making sure the women were represented!

The breeze was building all afternoon and all of the fleet was on their 10.0's except for Tom who was on the 11.0. It was almost as though there was 2 different breezes on the course as the inside was well lit up with lots of chop and rebound from the sea wall while the outside middle of the bay remained lighter and flatter- go figure as its usually the opposite! The tide was changing on the inside first and we had an tide line across our course most of the weekend.

I choose the high to medium air set up with the starboard 167, 64 kashy fin & avanti 10.0.
If I can get a lane and sail my own race- this set up works well.

I wasnt able to break free from the 2-3 sailors around me until Sunday when I went for better starts and gained a lane when I needed it most. I started off with a 4th as I got hosed at the start and never caught up well. Next race- I rallied back for a 2nd behind Al in a good race.
Race 3 - Tom and Al got a good jump but I was catching up on the last downwind.
With the flood tide, I was able to gybe early and take advantage of the extra speed of the flood and sail less distance I knew Tom was down there in my blind spot but couldn't tell exactly where.The avanti 10.0, starboard 167 and a small fin just rip downwind in the breeze.
The more parallel stance of the chicken straps makes it easier to push on the fin and get some blazing downwind speed.
Tom and I crossed the finish line together but he got the nod form the RC to take 2nd behind Al. When in doubt- push as hard as you can.
At the end of day 1- Al collected 3 bullets while Tom and I sat tied for 2nd.

Day 2- Breeze up so I went with the same set up. This time- making sure I got off the line well. I struggled out of the gate again starting with a 4th but quickly came back to take the last 2 bullets- ending up tied with Tom again but taking the tiebreaker on who had the better throwout. My last 2 races- I was able to shut the door on my competition at the start. I immediately went to the hand on the uphaul technique and made sure Al did not barrel over me. From there it was staying in control.  Soheil looked like he was going to get the last race but I passed him on the downwind- again taking advantage of the flood tide by sailing less distance. I also think the smaller fin and 167 goes better off the breeze than a mikes lab and bigger fin. 

At the end of the season- I finally have a better idea of what works and what doesn't and how to use that most effectively as possible.Sometimes this is the biggest challenge- just to know your equipment well enough be able to take advantage of it.