Monday, May 25, 2015

baby steps

Big breakthroughs on the St.FYC Bluerush Thursday night kite series last week.
Although by looking at the score sheet- you would hardly notice.

The good news is I can get around the course.
Its not pretty- especially downwind but its getting better.
I beat last weeks record by getting around 2 races and starting the 3rd.
Not in any record time, mind you- not even within the time limit and using the unofficial shorter windward mark- set for the 3 remaining course boards still racing.

The beginning foilers in the fleet have started an unofficial b fleet.
This way- we can at least make all 3 starts while sailing the shorter windward mark, down to the leeward gate and back up to the finish.

Im finishing just as the fleet is starting their next race so I just continue right through the start/finish line and keep racing.  The next goal is to shave a few minutes off my time and make the 10 min. time limit after the 1st finisher.

If I can get some numbers on my season score instead of DNFs, Ill be stoked!

For fleet building, I think its just as important to focus on the back half of the fleet as the front.
Its something I'm learning this year as I see the racing from a different perspective.
If you ever really want to test yourself- go do a race.
It pushes you beyond your normal boundary and you quickly find your weakness so you can turn it into a strength.

Downwind is still a struggle.
I'm fighting the urge to keep things under control while knowing quite well I've just got to bear off and accelerate through the turn, go fast and bring the kite low in the window. Easier said than done! Blow ups are still common as I lose control of the pitch of the board and the foil breaks free from the surface of the water.

Im so close to making a gybe on the foil board.
Mind you its not a foiling gybe but a touchdown gybe where the board is on the water.
The footwork shuffle once I get the kite around has still got me falling over the front of the board!
Down looping the kite through the light wind gybes is still challenging but keeping tension on the lines is essential

As a result- Ive gone back to the basics and have been trying to focus on my kite and board handling skills with the surfboard and conditions I normally would windsurf in.

The unofficial rule this season: 20k and above and I go windsurfing.
20k and below- I go kite foiling.
But rules are meant to be broken.

So far this season- 55 session as of May 25: 24 on the foilboard, 23 on the windsurfer and 8 kiting on the surf board!

Up next is the start of slalom windsurf racing in San Francisco with the first Friday night slalom race of the season at the St. Francis Yacht Club + the Crissy Field Slalom Series on Saturday afternoon.
Big thanks to Chris Ray for the photos