Wednesday, April 22, 2009

That's more like it!

And just like that, the heat wave is over, the marine layer has reasserted itself with a vengeance, and after a long day of pretty interesting sessions on database performance tuning, I got to play with my new slalom toys.  Crissy was showing off its normal self, with voodoo chop caused by a nice strong ebb going out against some pretty stiff breeze. 

I got to try my new Exocet WSl 71 (yep, another black machine) and my new Sailworks NXsl 7.1. Normally, I try to only dial in one piece of new gear at a time, but since I couldn't bring my old board with me for lack of space in the car, there was no alternative. The 71, however, behaved just like the 67 - I set straps the straps in the middle position, put the base at 135cm, put in my 40cm Finworks, and the board felt like an old friend from the first reach. Jibing is as friendly and transparent as the 67, but with better speed throughout the turn (bigger boards are nice that way).

At times, the combo should clearly have been too large, as it got pretty darn furry, but giving the sail a bit more downhaul and moving the boom down an inch made things manageable. Lining up with the guys, it seemed that the large board did not incur a speed penalty in the heavy stuff - and the way it glides through holes and accelerates out of the turns bodes well for the upcoming slalom season. The 7.1 is a nice refinement from last year's sail - it's got a bit more shape down low and is way more pumpable - but when you're lit, it just goes into low-drag mode and keeps going faster.  I'm psyched - I don't get nearly enough time to tweak my slalom setup, given that I don't get to sail slalom much at home, so having gear that's this plug and play is a real blessing. If you're looking for new slalom kit,  you should take a good look at Sailworks and Exocet - it's working for me. 

At one point, I took a short break and shot some pictures; unfortunately, the haze and flying sand/spray on shore made it pretty hard to capture anything exciting. It was fun sailing with David, Steve, Jean, as well as Royce and Robert. Glad to see there's a bit of a slalom scene at Crissy - the spot is so perfect for it (if you don't mind getting your fillings rattled on port...)

Tomorrow's another day of cramming my head full of information, hopefully followed by a quick session with the Berkeley crowd. Then it's on to Friday Night racing at the St. Francis, the Calcup on Saturday, and then the long drive home.

No comments: