Monday, July 9, 2007

The Gorge Cup that wasn't

While thousands of couples all over the country were tying the knot and gamblers were taking their chances given the supposedly lucky date of 7/7/07, the Gorge Cup was on the receiving end of some not so great luck. Sure, we had racers, raceable conditions (actually, it was stupid windy and had been for days; I got a nice Friday afternoon session as well), a race committee, and a boat. Unfortunately, while setting the course, the committee boat suffered mechanical failure - a 1/4" metal rod in the steering linkage sheared off, leaving the boat with plenty of power but no steering. Oops...

Darren set an anchor and, after it became clear that this couldn't be fixed in place, bobbed around waiting for rescue (see Exhibit A...). Scotia organized a volunteer on a jet ski, hoping to salvage the racing by setting a figure 8 course and guiding the boat into a good spot to set a start/finish line, but despite valiant attempts, the ski operator never got the outside mark set in the crazy conditions (it ended up getting blown way downwind past the tip of the sandbar and had to be retrieved from there).

In the meantime, though, it was pretty furry on the water. Exhibit B in the picture (rather grainy, I know - so much for cell-phone photography) shows you that there were solid caps and 1/2 foot chop on the inside, just off the breakwater at the Event Site - a spot that's usually glassy. Outside, it was windy enough for Dale to be on his jump board and 4.2 Hucker. I borrowed a smaller slalom board from Bruce and got out on my 5.0 holding on for dear life, and later (after it let up just a wee bit) we had really nice powered up slalom sailing.

I got some great speed runs on my 6.0 and 24" slalom board down from the lower Hatchery into the eddy below Wells Island; after one particularly fast one I figured I'd go get my GPS. By the time I got back out, though, the wind on the inside (where the water is flat enough to go fast) had died. I got one peak speed (one second interval) of 37.1 knots, but the rest of the readings were all around 33 knots - which is about as fast as you could go in the channel where the wind was holding. This was similar to the day before, where I also didn't think of getting the GPS out until the conditions had deteriorated a bit.

As bummed as I was about not getting to race, I had some great sailing, so overall I'd call it a successful trip. Thanks to Scotia and Darren and Sam for trying to salvage the racing; they sure tried hard.

1 comment:

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

Lucky 7's gave us enough wind for a classic SF Classic - with even some voodoo chop at the south tower for good measure. Sorry you guys got skunked by mechanical failures.
Heres a link to the Longboard classic report-