Saturday, August 9, 2008

Canadian Nationals - Day 2

Lots of sitting in the rain and waiting this morning, with a front pushing through and making things feel more like March than August here in Squamish. Winds picked up a bit in the afternoon, and we got ready to race Formula. First heat got delayed as the breeze shifted quite a bit and we had to change the course to avoid turning this into a reaching match. Then, as we were about to get the second heat off, we had to pull the committee boat off station, as a big freighter was coming in and the boat was anchored right in its path to its berth. I was kind of glad that one didn't go off, as the wind had just dropped quite a bit while we were already in the sequence.

After a bit of rigging frenzy we all had our biggest sails up and were ready to go. We got three races off in light and shifty breeze. Current from the river added to the mayhem. The way the current played, there wasn't much latitude for tactics, as you had to get to the right side of the course to ride the current upwind, and the left side of the course to get downwind faster by not having to fight the current. Chris Prior took three bullets; I took three seconds. He's 25 pounds lighter than me, and he skillfully took advantage of that by getting good angle upwind and planing right through the holes up and down the course. Since I couldn't match his angle off the line, and since the wind was getting flukey on the right side of the course in the third heat, I tried a starboard start and actually led him through the first lap of the course; the lead I had built up at the windward mark had pretty much shrunk to nothing at the bottom though, and in the further dropping breeze, he got me on the second lap.

After we were all derigged and had eaten, the wind all of a sudden picked up; with the ramps created by the ebb, it would have been a good bump and jump session. After all the pumping, though, none of us were much in the mood. Tomorrow's forecast is for less rain and fewer clouds; hopefully that means a thermal push with a bit more sailable wind than today.

Slalom results so far actually do have us very close. After nine heats, I'm in first with 14 points; Chris and Rob are right there with 15 and 16, respectively. Yesterday's freestyle was won by Phil Soltysiak; he was really head and shoulders above the other competitors, landing quite a few pretty sophisticated moves despite the rather challenging conditions (river chop, gusty/shifty winds). He also did very nicely in the slalom, using his board handling skills to stay right in the game despite, as he put it, not being a slalom sailor.

1 comment:

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

What fins have you been using for formula?