by Steve Bodner
USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign - I had this grand vision that I'd be kite board racing this season. What I failed to remember was that there's a certain amount of dues that one has to pay- regardless of one's experience...Humbling dues! While Ive paid my dues in windsurfing, this experience is like starting over again.
Race 1 - USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign 2014
Sometimes you want to arrive at your destination as quickly as possible, but as I keep trying to remind myself, it's the journey that gets you there.
My goal- the St.FYC Thursday Night Series.
With a local fleet of almost 40 racers and top racers from across the US and World joining the bi-monthly series- this is the place to be if you want to be kite board racing.
Luckily- right in my backyard.
Week 1 - Not sure I even ready for the race but I figured it's the best way to push myself and free rescues if needed! I made it quickly downwind in the flood tide to the start and just kept going down wind when things got light and I couldn't relaunch my kite. The safety boat got me somewhere north of Pier 39.
To be fair, I was 1 of almost 20 people who got rescued that night when the wind died and fog came it. I shared the rib rail with Jimmi Spithil on the rescue ride home as the wind knows no boundaries.
Week 2 - I was determined to make the start. I timed it so I was about 30 seconds late but didn't account for all the downed kites on the line. This isnt like windsurfing where you can just weave around people. Lines were everywhere. I certainly dont know what my lines are doing, nonetheless the guys around me. I gybe to get out of there ('cause I still cant tack) and make another run at the starting line. Ahh the flood tide again- pushing me downwind. I make another TWO attempts to cross the line in the strong flood only to be denied as the top racers are just about to finish. Luckily I make it back to the beach on my own accord. I call this one a victory. No rescue!
Week 3 - Another big flood tide, light breeze and fog. This is the curse of Thursday Night. I choose the 11.0 for the first race and made the start and floundered in the light breeze near the top if the course. Going upwind is still a challenge especially on starboard tack. After realizing I want going to make the top mark I hightailed it down to the starting line again to make the second start- a bit late but two starts for the evening! I'll take the small victories when I can.
upwind - USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign 2014
Week 4 - New windsurfing gear arrived last week so no time on the kite board. I set my goal for making the windward mark despite the raging flood tide and light wind on the inside of the course. I get off the starting line and make the long haul on port tack upwind. The leaders are far gone but there's one another newbie just in front of me. I try to chase him down but we both get stuck up in the corner with no wind. I gybe again and go out to the middle of the bay for more wind. I finally make it around the windward mark and begin to head downwind as I hear Johnny Heineken take the bullet of race 1. My kite goes down in the light wind and I spend the next few minutes trying to relaunch and use most of my energy. Making it around 1 mark and back to the beach on my own accord is victory enough for tonight.
waterstart - USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign 2014
One leg at a time, Im going to conquer this course. Next weeks goal is to make it around the downwind mark.