Wednesday, 3 March 2010

North American Continentals - first day


Today went well overall. I'm very happy with my speed around the course. I'm hanging with the top pack and am stoked to see that the racing has come to the point where decisions around the course are as important as if you are on the right board (at the top at least). That being said, I am definitely feeling the amount of R&D a lot of the professional guys have put into their boards and kite since the summer. Today was relatively light and I had a harder time finding my top speed groove than a lot of the guys who have had more time to develop gear for these conditions. I came here with only a slightly modified setup fro my heavy air board that I sailed at the Worlds, and am very happy with its performance so far. I shaped some new front fins which have really added to my pointing all around and significantly improved my low end power.

Today was the lightest day of sailing we've had so far, with a range of about 5-15 kts. In race one I set up on starboard to win the pin end of the line. I had a perfect start but had to avoid about six port tackers who forgot that we're sailboat racing and thought they could just go wherever they wanted. My kite made contact with two others and just as I thought I was clear a third went straight up ahead of mine and I had to sit back in the water to avoid a tangle. So essentially I started the race 30 seconds behind the fleet with a vengeance because I legitimately won the start but got fouled by over half the fleet. I ground back to 7th place. After giving a private rules clinic to the competitors who fouled me the worst they agreed to take their 20% penalty. Everyone learned and my point was made, I'm here to race.

The race committee adjusted the starting line for race #2 and I had a clean start at the boat. I sailed a really solid race fighting for top three the whole time. I got a lucky break when the top two guys messed up the course and was able to squeak into second place (overlapped with first but not quite there).

I started the third race powered on my 12m Addiction but by the second lap the racing turned into a struggle to connect puffs upwind. I played the pressure pretty well and sailed into fourth place which I held to the finish. The last beat was a complete struggle as the wind shifted 90 degrees and died. Just after the finish my kite dropped out of the sky and I swam for about 10 minutes before relaunching and making it to the beach.

So Overall I feel very solid, especially for my gear setup. My kites are great in these conditions, and my board is very good, but has less volume than a lot of the newer board and suffers a little due to this in the super light conditions. This is something I'll continue to work on before worlds but for now its keep grinding, I get better everyday I ride here, so I'm stoked to keep pushing it produce more good results.

I some shots on my gopro the other day while training. A few are attached


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