Formula Windsurfing World Championship 2011 day 1.
by Steve Bodner
US Windsurfing National Champion Steve Bodner:
Day one at the Formula Worlds was brutal with 18-20k on the course gusting up to the mid 20s. Three races were run all three lap windward leeward finishing with a short reach around the pin end to the finish set to leeward if the starting boat. The fleet is 50 strong. The course is set up between shore and a reef a 1/2 mile out with some muni reefs in between for good nature.
The starts were insanely port tack favored so the fleet was charging in each direction. Carnage followed with some pretty close calls on the line. I narrowly avoided disaster as a port tacker plowed into me on race two but I was able to hustle back just enough so that redress wouldn't matter. I'm sitting in 26th bur it feels like I should be doing better as the fleet is one of the toughest I've ever sailed in with almost all the top pros here and just 1/3 amateurs. I'd reckon it's the closest thing to an Olympic regatta that I will ever sail in.
Everyone is making some mistakes even the guys at top so it’s going to be who sails the mist consistently that wins. So far that's Antoine, Jesper and Polanoski at the top after day one.
Ron Kern ran into the reef and basically broke his board in 1/2 hinging just in front of the fin box. Casper got sliced with a fin and consequently got taken hospital for stitches. Nicholas from France got t-boned by victor from Brazil rendering his board useless for the rest if the regatta. That's why you bring a spare! Ron was able to borrow a starboard and came back well.
I sailed the 9.5 all races with a 70 cm fin adding more downhaul than I've had before. Good upwind but a bit off the pace downwind. Maybe less tomorrow. Most others were on 10 or 10.7.
The key it seemed was to sail in clear air with the narrow course. I tacked early a few times just before the reef or shore and came back across with a good lane and gained.
Tomorrows forecast looks to be windier so hopefully a chance to move up.
Hitting the sack after a long day.
Four more days to go!
USA-4 Formula Windsurfing Championship website Steve Bodner blog
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2:02 PM Wed 6 Jul 2011 GMT
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