Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign - Blown off the water

by Steve Bodner on 8 May 2013
2013 USA Windsurfing Campaign - St. Francis Yacht Club wind scale. St. Francis Yacht Club
Steve Bodner provides an update on USA 4's windsurfing campaign which is currently underway:

San Francisco Bay has experienced one of the windiest springs I can remember. Last month we saw a week of 25k+ topped off by two days of 35-45k inside the golden gate.


I should have learned my lesson and just left the whole quiver of sails in the van as the sail you need most is always the one you've left behind in the garage.

That was the case again this past weekend at the Elvestrom Zellerback regatta at the St. Francis Yacht Club where it blew 25-35k on Saturday and most of the fleet, including myself got blown off the water.

I'd been practicing on the smaller formula set up the past few weeks but more or less wrote it off as it wasn't performing upwind against the formula board. On three different occasions, Percey, Soheil and myself lined up against the formula fleet on the ML13 and either 7.8 rig or 9.5 rig. The result always came back the same- great control in the breeze, flying offwind, good transitions but just not up to par upwind in terms of angle. The board is wicked fast at 89cm wide and a 71cm OFO. It performs more like a big slalom board than it does a formula board. I've never been so comfortable downwind, flying through the voodoochop than I have on this board. It seems to fly right over the chop staying in fifth gear longer and going more efficiently. It's really a pleasure to sail and when it wasn't coming up at the top on race days, I was a bit bummed.

I decided not to even pack the 7.7rig for the Elvestrom regatta as I knew it wasn't working and the forecast was only calling for 15-20k westerly.

Ha- big mistake.

My first run out 25 min before the first start saw a quick return to the beach to put on the smaller 64cm fin. The voodoo chop at the leeward gate was harrowing!

Just before the first start I went in to last chance beach to add another 1/2' of donwhaul when my downhaul pulley and webbing blew out form the sail.

I spent the next 20 min derigging and rerigging the 9.5 just to make it to the start of the second race.

The wind had picked up from 20-25k and was now 30-35 with a solid sea state of swell and chop.

The dinghies still racing on our course were going down like flies.

Making any transition was almost out of the question.

It was pure survival sailing.

I wasn't as much trying to sail but trying to get back to the beach faster!

After just one upwind leg and failing to make the windward mark and having to quadruple tack the windward mark in a raging flood tide, I was done.

For one of the few times in my racing career, I simply gave up.

I wasn't the only one as more than 1/2 the fleet in all the classes had one or more DNF's on their scorecards on Saturday.

You've got to have your kit tuned up to sail well in conditions like that, otherwise its a horrible experience- fighting the rig and constantly trying to depower.

If only, I had packed the ML13, 7.7 rig and a small fin- it would be another story!

The race is sometimes won before it even begins.

On the course side, Xavier was showing great form with his starboard 167, 60cm kashy fin and 7.8 NP RS racing rig. Tom and Al- both on North 9.3s and ML12s were also charging at the front of the fleet- looking comfortable on their smallest rigs.

Sunday- I showed up to the beach with every race sail in my quiver form 7.7 to 12.0 but didn't even get to use even one as the wind never cooperated and the sea breeze failed to materialize leaving the dinghies to be towed back to the dock and the boards never off the beach.

You win some.
You lose some.
InSunSport - NZupffront 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Leccese sets new Ronstan Bridge to Bridge course record
Rikki Leccese set a new Ronstan Bridge to Bridge record of 10:31, shattering Johnny Heineken’s existing 12:00 record. They say records are made to be broken, and for kiters on San Francisco Bay, that continues to be true. On Thursday, August 25, in 18 knots of breeze and a ripping 2.5-knot flood tide, Italian foil boarder Rikki Leccese set a new Ronstan Bridge to Bridge record of 10:31, shattering Johnny Heineken’s existing 12:00 record. Leccese’s average speed was 33 knots over the 5.8-nautical-mile racecourse.
Posted on 27 Aug
Hydrofoil ProTour San Francisco – On progress...
Progress, it doesn't come easy or fast but when you least expect it. Sometimes it doesn't seem to come at all. Progress, it doesn't come easy or fast but when you least expect it. Sometimes it doesn't seem to come at all despite everything you'd hoped for. The important thing, is to keep moving forward.
Posted on 25 Aug
Ladkin and Hauser crowned Pacasmayo Classic Champions!
On Friday evening, riders and spectators gathered by the pool at the El Faro Adventure Resorts for the awards ceremony. On Friday evening as the sun set over the pacific, riders and spectators gathered by the pool at the El Faro Adventure Resorts for the awards ceremony.
Posted on 22 Aug
Hydrofoil Pro Tour Mauritius – Final day – Parlier wins two in a row
The idyllic island paradise in the Indian Ocean was a must see for sailors and their loved ones who made the journey. From recent events you have Axel Mazella who sailed a convincing victory at the European Championship in July. Johnny Heineken is always a threat for the top spot with piercing hot streak abilities. Maxime Nocher the 2015 World Tour champ and perennial podium threat….
Posted on 21 Aug
Top contenders extend their lead on Day 3 of the HydroFoil Pro Tour
Another five races have been completed in picture perfect conditions on the island paradise of Mauritius. Another five races have been completed in picture perfect conditions on the island paradise of Mauritius, bringing the race-count to fourteen thus far. The competitors with true grit will find themselves at the top.
Posted on 20 Aug
HydroFoil Pro Tour Mauritius – Day 2
To succeed in such a long series of races it takes strength and stamina but Parlier seems to possess something greater. Parlier continues his streak of perfect scores. Four more races are in the books marking the halfway point at this highlight event in the Indian Ocean. Another day of strong breeze and clear waters was the perfect setting for this global hydrofoiling circuit.
Posted on 20 Aug
Day 5 - Epic conditions for final day in Pacasmayo
Stellar conditions continued for Day 5 of the Pacasmayo Classic to wrap up the remaining heats in Womens 2016 Pacasmayo Classic - Stellar conditions continued for Day 5 of the Pacasmayo Classic to wrap up the remaining heats in Womens, Masters, GrandMasters, Youths, and the Pro Final.
Posted on 20 Aug
Park's pride as Brits leave Rio Olympic Sailing as top nation
With 17 countries claiming the 30 medals from 10 events between them, Park thinks Rio lived up to its reputation With 17 countries claiming the 30 medals from 10 events between them, Park thinks Rio lived up to its reputation as one of the most difficult places in the world to sail. At London 2012 the same numbers of medals was spread between 15 countries.
Posted on 19 Aug
Great Britain is the top performing nation at Rio Olympic Sailing
After yesterday’s postponement for lack of breeze, an eighth in double points Medal Race ensured they were the champions Two golds for Giles Scott (Finn) and Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (470 Women) plus Nick Dempsey’s RS:X windsurfing silver ensured Britain has topped the best sailing nation table for four of the last five Olympics.
Posted on 19 Aug
HydroFoil Pro Tour Mauritius – Day 1
Parlier comes out swinging the day one in the lagoon of Pointe d’Esny was what some might identify as champagne sailing. Racers were treated with fifteen to twenty knot winds, flat water, blue skies, and the beautiful backdrop of Isle Mauritius in view. For Frenchman Nico Parlier today’s performance probably has him pondering certain thoughts of champagne. After coming off a regatta victory in San Francisco and then winning all five of today’s races Parlier looks to be the top gun on the tour at the moment.
Posted on 18 Aug