Thursday, April 26, 2007


That's how Bruce described the feeling to be expected from my new 9.9 when going upwind overpowered. Thanks to 20+ knots of gusty breeze on the Bay today, I had a chance to try that out - and it's about as apt a description as I could think of. It just settles down and drives with no jerking even in the biggest gusts - allowing you to keep the foils lit up and the hammer down.

Downwind is also really sweet - even with the outhaul all the way dumped off, the draft doesn't move around and the sail stays nice and stable - breathes nicely with changes in apparent wind (from gusts, or as you're hitting the back of swells), doesn't stall (as slippery sails usually do off the breeze), and just keeps driving. With the rig behaving so nicely, you can stay way longer in the outside strap even when the water gets pretty gnarly.

The southern part of Bellingham Bay dished up great practice for Nationals in San Francisco today - lots of breeze (baseline around 20+ knots), with some big puffs coming out of nowhere, confused water, and the occasional VW Bug-sized rollers coming through. Good stuff. Could have easily slalom sailed out there, but that would have been long slog/swim out to the windline and back to shore, as it was early pre-frontal and thus too offshore. Gotta love Formula gear - you just go where you want to and cover whatever ground necessary to get to the breeze.

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