by Steve Bodner
Paulo dos Reis blasting down the San Francisco Skyline - 2011 Doubletree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina US Windsurfing National Championships
US Windsurfing National Championships 2011 day three update from Windsurfing Champion Steve Bodner:
Day three saw the Brazilians dominate both the formula and slalom courses in classic San Francisco Bay conditions. Three formula races were run in 18-24k followed by three rounds if slalom in 20-25k.
Paulo Des Reis collected another string of bullets and he's on par to sail a perfect regatta, something that I'm not sure has ever been done at the US Windsurfing National Championship. Not to be outdone, Wilhelm Schurman collected three bullets on the slalom course followed by a string of seconds on the formula course.
The first race started off with the breeze filled in and most on the 9.5-10m rigs.
There wasn't as big advantage to the right side today as previous so most continued to the corners to maximize their VMGs which Paulo seemed to have the best of. He simply sailed away from the rest of the fleet. Schurman played the second fiddle while McGain and Ferlet battled it out for third and fourth.
Sylvester managed a consistent day closing the gap on me and we remain tied at the end the day for fifth. In all but one race he was clearly ahead and finally I tried to wear him down in race two when he left the door open on a wide leeward mark rounding. The next upwind I inched my way matching his speed and angle and even rounding in front of him at the top mark only to have him call the better lay line to the finish.
The lesson to be learned is play your last move well. It doesn't matter if you’re ahead or behind just make sure you don't blow it before you get the finish.
After three races we switched to slalom but at that point I had to listen to my body after having been in race mode for the past 16/17 days. I gladly made my slalom gear available to Paulo as he currently wasn't entered in the slalom competition and showed he's pretty solid around any race course. I'm not sure I've ever seen my gear go that fast! He gave Wilhelm and Phil a run in the two/four races but called it quits to save strength for tomorrow and Saturday’s long distance and course racing.
Three races were run in 20-25k with the San Francisco city front and golden gate bridge in the background - an amazing backdrop for slalom racing.
Schurman clearly dominated with better gybes around the course even if Phil was ahead. PRO Darren Rogers ran the fleet till 6:45 when the last race was run and racers returned to BYC for dinner and a screening of Wind and Water, a film by Bill Wier.
On the line up tomorrow is more course racing and the possibility of a long distance race or more slalom. The freestyle competition will continue to be run from his lordships at the bottom of the basin.
Steve Bodner blog