Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign - Blazing saddles on the AC course

by Steve Bodner on 27 Aug 2013
Ron and Sue Kern.
Our formula windsurfing fleet had been invited to race on the Americas Cup course as part of the AC- OPEN- a showcase of different sailing, windsurfing and kiteboarding competitions run in parallel with the Americas Cup and Louis Vuitton race series this summer on the San Francisco Bay.

Race one - beautiful start!
Just ducked below the one starboard tacker on the line and squirted out in front of the pack on port with a good lead. The ML 13 has superior speed upwind though the chop and the Avanti 10.0 feels as light as an 8.0. You've got to have an efficient set up if you want to go fast!

Unfortunately I overstood Anita rock and let Tom Purcell, Eric Christanson and Jack Lundquist sneak in there to round in front of me. We charged downwind and I was able to peel past Jack on the first gybe. That kid is really sailing fast and consistent for a 18 year old and the youngest kid in the fleet. We had a quick reach from A buoy to B buoy just in front of the St.FYC where there where still hundreds if people at the club cheering us on.

Time for the hero gybe! Luckily I didn't blow it.

Tom Eric and I all charged deep downwind through some if the roughest voodoo chop Ive sailed in all summer. I went down but made a quick recovery and then saw Tom go down just at the mark. I caught up again and narrowly avoided the collision as I tried to pass Tom to leeward and at the same time Eric came into the leeward mark rounding the wrong way!

I rounded just in front of Tom and called room to tack at the sea wall and we both grinded upwind on port tack keeping pace with each other. Tom's got me by a good 30 lbs so he can hold down his own and with the north 9.3 he's wicked fast. I lost track of the finish line and let Tom tack and failed to cover as he took the win while I got second and Eric in third for a nice recovery after re-rounding the leeward mark.

Always stay between your opponent and the next mark. Simple rule but easy to forget especially at the end if the race.

Race two start caught the fleet by surprise including myself as I was still trying to adjust my boom height on the starting line and didn't completely engage the cleat so 30 sec after the start my inhaul line let go. Pro tip- always tie a knot at the end of the line so it doesn't slip all the way out. I did a quick fix during my tack and lost a few boards in the process but had it set for the rest of the race.

It was time to play catch up so one by one I picked off the middle of the fleet until I found myself in the top IV again by the slalom leg in front of the St. FYC. Two good gybes and I was back in the game!

The advantage of the smaller board through the chop was huge- It's got way better handling than the bigger formula boards; even upwind as I had the mast track pegged almost all the way forward, it tracked extremely well and had superior speed through the chop.

Even if you sail a bad race and have good speed- you're going to end up ok!

At the leeward mark I had my eye on II more boards to pass upwind. The opportunity came as a ferry came through the fleet splitting Xavier off and he tacked back to the city front. I worked hard to grind Jack down with a bit better speed upwind on port tack but he hung in there and made a great call to the layline. I was able to just edge Xavier out across the line coming in on the starboard favored tack for third while Eric took the bullet and Jack in second.

Last race- time to get serious if I wanted a place on the podium. I knew the race was close in points between Eric, Tom and I so I had to stay in front of them. With no throw outs it could be anyone's game if any of us made a mistake. Tom already had a sixth in the second race so he had no room for error.

It's important going into the last race knowing where you stand and who has what to gain.

Good start on starboard tack but Al and Eric were right there as we all tacked over from starboard to port tack. We were all overlapped within a board length of each other. Who ever let up the slightest would get shot out the back.

Al to leeward, me in the middle and Eric to windward.

We stayed overlapped for a good 30 seconds before Eric fell back a bit. It was now Al and I grinding hard to weather. I had a slight advantage to windward and started to climb with the better control of the smaller board.

Tom reached the top mark first and we pushed hard all the way through the two slalom marks not letting up an inch. Gybe for gybe we matched each other. I was on the verge of exploding several times but kept it together. I know Tom on the bigger board and fin must have been wired. Heading downwind on port tack past the GGYC there were minefields of voodoo chop. It took every muscle in my body to keep from getting catapulted over the front of the board- even on the smaller board.

As we approached the layline, I gybed first knowing the flood would help and one could understand and still make it. What I didn't account for was running straight into the chop. It was the pounding of a lifetime as my leeward foot barely stayed in the double chicken strap. My legs were absorbing the chop like the front suspension of a mountain bike.

I had the line laid but just needed to keep it together. I rounded in front of Tom and covered until the finish gaining a few board lengths on the long port tack upwind. I made sure to not to make the same mistake again and called the layline to take the final bullet of the series and the days racing.

We had the awards ceremony at the AC Village on the same stage the Americas Cup and Louis Vuitton trophies will be awarded to the ultimate winners of this summer's AC circuit.

Overall- a huge success at getting to showcase our class and our sport to a wider audience. Many thanks to Cort and David at 101 surf sports for organizing the event; the Americas Cup Event Authority, the AC- OPEN and the many volunteers that make it all possible.

As promised, I told the editor at Sailing Anarchy Id get some SA shwag up on the podium.

Pics or it never happened, he said.

Here you go Scotty-

Steve Bodner website

Mackay BoatsAncasta Ker 33 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Sailing World Cup Melbourne pays tribute to Paul Elvstrom
Sixty years ago, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years ago, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed the legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. At the time the Danish sailor was carving a legacy that included four consecutive Olympic gold medals, numerous world championships and sporting innovations that are now the norm within the sport.
Posted on 8 Dec
Sailing World Cup Melbourne – Aussies revel in seabreeze conditions
Another day of good sailing conditions in Melbourne made for a memorable day for Australia’s sailors competing in finals In the 470 Men’s event, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan had another strong day winning both of their two races. They currently lead overall, five points ahead of China’s team of Lan/Wang.
Posted on 7 Dec
Connecting Team Bridge at the Sailing World Cup Final Melbourne
Eldest son Ollie is hoping for a top two finish and his 17 year-old brother Guy will be pushing for top three. Consider the logistics of three teenage boys of varying ages all playing the same equipment heavy sport. Now imagine the coordination required for the Bridge family of kiters currently in Australia for an extended southern hemisphere tour that includes the IKA Formula Kite Open division
Posted on 6 Dec
Good start to Sailing World Cup Melbourne for Aussies
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won the first race in convincing style and finished the second race of the day in second place The Aussie duo of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won their first race in convincing style, and finished the second race of the day in second place. They are currently in first place overall, two points ahead of the Japanese pairing of Takayama and Imamura.
Posted on 6 Dec
Hydrofoil Pro Tour – Final wrap up
This has been an incredible year! We started out with little more than a vision, but we started together. This has been an incredible year! We started out with little more than a vision, but we started together. And together we have achieve the impossible.
Posted on 5 Dec
Hydrofoil Pro Tour – Rockingham plays part to shape future of sailing
Coastal community just 25min south of Perth, Western Australia, has whole-heartedly embraced the chance to make history. Rarely does a small city like Rockingham get an opportunity to shape the future of sailing. But the coastal community just 25min south of Perth, Western Australia, has whole-heartedly embraced the chance to make history at the cutting-edge of kitehydrofoil racing and sailing.
Posted on 1 Dec
Parlier unbeatable in World Hydrofoil Pro Tour Final Round
The regatta was sailed in good breezes throughout and Cruising Yacht Club which ran the event, did a sensational job The regatta was sailed in good breezes throughout and Rockingham’s Cruising Yacht Club which ran the event did a sensational job in managing it, with the support of Rockingham Apartments and the City of Rockingham.
Posted on 30 Nov
Hydrofoil Pro Tour – Day 4 – Training partners clinch the first title
For his rivals it was an ominous warning. Parlier grabbed the inaugural crown winning every race of the final stop. For his rivals it was an ominous warning. France’s Nico Parlier grabbed the inaugural crown winning every race of the climactic final stop at Rockingham, Western Australia, despite conditions that ranged from light airs to ballistic breezes at the close.
Posted on 30 Nov
Parlier and Moroz on cruise control despite tricky conditions
It is a measure of the sheer pace and control of France’s Nico Parlier that one of the world’s fastest kitefoilers It is a measure of the sheer pace and control of France’s Nico Parlier that one of the world’s fastest kitefoilers, Britain’s Olly Bridge, finds himself overhauled on a reach to the line when he finally thought he had an elusive race win in his grasp.
Posted on 29 Nov
The Doctor brings good times for Hydrofoil World Pro Tour
Day three of the Hydrofoil World Pro Tour Final Round brought with it perfect conditions for fast kite racing. Day three of the Hydrofoil World Pro Tour Final Round brought with it perfect conditions for fast kite racing. The Fremantle Doctor, the local sea breeze that kicks in reliably during Perth summer months, arrived early and when the first of today’s six races began, was registering 16 to 18 knots with gusts just over 20 – similar conditions to day two, but with less venom in the gusts.
Posted on 28 Nov