Monday, January 26, 2009

Alex Caviglia Bluewater Classic - Formula Fleet

Chris Gardiner reports from the Formula fleet:

The Alex Caviglia regatta held in Miami this past week was one of the best I have ever been to. It was  a great venue, and it was awesome to have food waiting on the table right after we came off the water. Being Formula North Americans the competition ranged from professional windsurfers looking for gold, to the average windsurfer just looking to have a good time, it was a great bunch of people to be stuck with for three days.

On the first day, there was very good conditions for formula, I was pretty powered up on my 11.0 and was going upwind and downwind comfortably. The starts were very competitive, much more than i was used to, as all 36 competitors fought for a place on the line, this taught me to be more aggressive off the line and to find a hole earlier. One of the coolest things about the regatta was watching the pros such as Gonzalo on his TR-5 tear upwind and downwind, much faster than i ever thought possible. By watching his stance and technique I was able to refine my own to go a little faster.

The second day there was no wind so it gave my friends and I a chance to skate around the parking lot and have a good time. I also talked to a lot of the racers there and got to know them better along with picking up some tips to do better the next day.

The third day started out light, the first race i had trouble planing the first time, only the sailors on 12's and higher were able to plane the whole time. The second race however it started to get windier, and I was on the edge of being overpowered as i ripped through the course at top speed. This was one of my best finishes, and was a very fun race. By the end of the second race and before the third race, the wind had picked up even more, and was close to a steady 23 gusting higher. At this point most of the formula sailors went in, thinking that they were at their limit, for they had rigged big for the lighter winds in the morning. As the gun for the start of the third sequence went off, a gust hit, and as I could barely sheet in my sail, I began to have some doubts about whether I'd finish the race. I made it to the first upwind mark, and resolved to go back downwind just to try it out, and it was the fastest of my life. The gusts were hitting almost thirty as I later found out, and i was able to go almost dead down wind, strapped to my 11.0. There was spray everywhere and i could barely see, but i did manage to see some Konas doing kart wheels around me as their riders got tossed over the handlebars, This was pretty cool as long as i was the observer. 

In the end it was a great regatta. We saw all sorts of wind conditions, there were great people all around, and it was a ton of fun. I'm looking forward to next year.


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