Is it really September already? The calendar says it's so, and school is back in session and a whole lot of you have some great "what I did on my summer vacation..." stories!
Day one of the 2009 windsurfing nationals started out windy and sunny, and it only got windier. At the skippers meeting it was announced that we were going to race slalom for the day, because it was so windy, which was really cool because I had limited experience with slalom so it was great practice. The first four races I rigged a 5.9 TR-5 which was still super overpowered because the gusts were reaching close to 40. Then it got even windier so I downsized to a 5.0 and kept racing hard. I got much better throughout the day, and went from getting 7th’s and 8th’s to 3rd’s and 4th’s.
Day two started out slightly less windy than the first, but still really breezy. I rigged a 6.6 TR-5 and started to do some serious work, and finally figured out how to jibe, bending your knees really does help in chop! I was getting 3rd and 4th every race and even got a 2nd in one, which I was really stoked about. Then the wind started dropping a little bit and the holes were everywhere, and at that point the lighter sailors started to prevail. This was the end of the slalom series and I finished 4th overall out of 20 or so.
Day three was the beginning of the formula racing, and started out glassy, however by mid afternoon the wind had filled and we got in a couple good races. I was rocking the starts and was 1st around the windward mark every time, but I found that I was a bit slower on the downwind, and the second place racer was usually very close to me by the downwind mark. Then every race, at the bottom of the course there was a massive lull, and my board just would not plane through it, making for some tight racing as the rest of the fleet caught up. I ended the first formula day tied for first, but then they threw out the last race due to lack of wind, so I was in first place alone.
Day four started out even lighter than the third, with the east wind trying to fill in, and we only got two races off. The first race, I came in second, even though I was first around the windward mark I lost it on the downwind, and I was tied for first going into the last race of the series. They moved the course further up the river towards the hatchery in an attempt for more wind on the last race, so I knew there was going to be some wind involved. Instead of rigging down, I decided to have a little extra power should I need it so I just down hauled my 10.0 a little harder. Sure enough, when I got out there, it was windy. I knew that this race decided the regatta, so I went out half an hour early and did my homework, making sure I knew where the favored parts of the course were, which end of the line was favored, etc. and it paid off. I got the best start by far, hitting the pin at full blast as soon as the gun went off, tearing upwind, with the person tying me for first behind me in my dirty air. I as first around the windward mark, but seriously overpowered so I played it safe on the downwind, which was a good idea, because one person passed me then promptly crashed, and multiple others crashed behind me. With all these crashes, I just had to get around the course without falling myself, which I did, staying towards the flat water, and playing shallow angles on the downwind, and with that, I won the race, thus winning the junior formula class!