August 19, 2006 CalCup (Richmond) Results
CalCup Race Report Saturday August 19th 2006
Nice and windy Cal Cup!! You guy's delivered and were on it!
In the past, I've only stopped by to say ‘hello’ when you've held the races in the Delta.
I was feeling pretty rusty out on the water at first. After a few unexpected take offs, it all started coming back to me. I had forgotten what it was like to get lifted out of the water on such big sails and wide boards. This was my first day back on formula gear in over a year. It was such a nice windy welcome back in the seat harness (saddle) again.
I'm glad everyone enjoyed the mini clinic I gave on the morning of the race. It seems like all of you who attended walked away with something new to think about on the race course today. It would be great to have the whole A, B & C Fleets aboard next time.
It was great having Ben Bamer there to bounce more CalCup specific tactical ideals off of with the group. Being my first cal cup, I was grateful he was there to give everyone the inside scoop and a better perspective from the race committee's view of running a regatta.
I did my best, while everyone was fresh and eager to listen, to first quickly cover racing edict and a HUGE sales pitch to get the racers off the race course and in the boat at least once a year. Not only for new sailors, but also those of you that have been racing for years, it's well worth all the hands on knowledge that can be gained. You can learn everything involved in running a regatta as well as gaining tons of valuable incite about some of your competitors by watching the fleet race. Don’t forget to bring a pen and notebook to take some notes on your fellow competitors. You can learn so much from watching how different sailor's approach starts and mark roundings. Then commit what you have seen to memory. I felt this really ‘clicked’ for some of those racers that attended the clinic. This information is invaluable and can really help racers improve their results the next time they are on the water.
We spent a lot of the clinic time talking about the different start and mark rounding options. It seemed as if everyone was really getting into the ideal of not just following the person in front of them.
After all the tactical questions were answered, I covered some of the changes in sailing styles when turning a formula board in comparison to a traditional short board.
Before we knew it, the clinic was cutting into the time allotted for the skipper's meeting. Two hours had just blown away. It was time to break from the clinic and get racing!!!
I couldn't believe how nice the day was turning out. The wind was up and still building. During the clinic, the wind had slowly increased and filled in. The CalCup racers were like any other windsurfers/sailors, all sailors typically have one thing in common, they can talk about windsurfing/sailing 24/7 and easily loose track of time. During the Skippers meeting I picked a smaller sized formula sail to rig, a 9.0 sail. This was the smallest sail that I brought and my thoughts were to be comfortably powered since I wanted to work with the C fleet out on the water.
By the time we hit the water it was apparent that the 9.0 was more than plenty. I was thinking to myself, I’m going to be powered up and have to work on not running over or out running the C fleet when working with them on the water.
Out to that Starting line we went. I tried to set a good example by taking a slow and obvious "line of site of reference point" (on land) to the starting line and asked the sailors around me if they had remembered to do so.
Before we knew it, the starting sequence had come and gone for the A & B fleets. Now it was our turn, the C Fleet. I helped repeat the race committee's hailing of the time left before our start. As time ticked away and the wind increased the fleet got into position. The horn blew at 0 and we were off to the windward mark!
I let the fleet know how they did at the start as we made our way upwind. With the increased wind I felt that it was harder for the fleet to hear what I was saying, while they were busy concentrating on, “the here & the now” or either ‘the moment at hand’.
Following from behind I was going to let the C fleet racers race their own race for this first one. The first two racers tacked off to "port" a bit early. The third racer knew he had further too go and continued upwind on starboard. It wasn't long when he began looking back at me, every few seconds. I told him it was up to him when to tack and not wait for me to tack first. I promised that I would not run him over if he was waiting for me to tack over to port. I guessed that he could not hear me in all the wind because we were sailing further and further past the lay line to the mark. I yelled louder and louder until he heard me and set up for the tack (turn). Being above the lay line meant we were in for a fast bouncy ride to the mark. I caught air twice when I was doing everything in my power to keep the board in the water on the way to the mark. Once at the mark I entered high and stopped well above the mark so I could hail advice and encouragement as the C fleet made their way around the mark.
For their first mark rounding they did great!! No one caught the anchor line with their fins. These sailors were flying and an anchor line snag would make for a violent launch over the bow, (nose of the board). With enough momentum you can really do some damage to your gear or yourself. Off to the finish line on a broad reach, (downwind reach,) this creates the fastest and most uncontrollable speeds for a windsurfer.
Because of my extra sail size over the rest of the C fleet, and also my lack of time on a formula board this year, I decided it would be easier and safer if I didn't run off the wind at too slow a speed. Yes, you guessed it! I was downwind and was at the finish line before I knew what happened!
After Race #1, while still on the water, I gave each of the sailors in C fleet some tips or pointers about race.# 1 and told them how they could improve their race times. I gave a reminder to ‘line site’ the start line and watch the A & B fleet start.
As soon as the warning signals fired for the A & B fleet's 2nd start, the C fleet racers looked like they were into it and ready to watch and learned this time.
It paid off because they all crossed the starting line much earlier when the count down hit 0 for our start.
Our fleet was sailing much tighter together this race, which made for some great racing. We had a few position changes this race which is always a sign of a competitive and improving fleet.