Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hampton Roads Sailboard Classic, Day 1

Warm, bathing-suit weather graced the first day of the 2007 Hampton Roads Sailboard Classic, where about 20 windsurfers from around the East Coast congregated to compete and carouse.
The fleet was diverse, both in terms of the sailors and their styles of equipment. A hard-core "formula windsurfing" contingent was ripping around the course, lead by the legendary Dave Kashy of Newport News.

We also had an even greater celebrity in attendance; women's Olympic windsurfing contender Farrah Hall, racing the official Olympic one-design board, the RS:X.

Most of the rest of us were on traditional, long raceboards. My hibiscus print Kona board was a bit of an odd duck, but no one else could match my level of color-coordination.
The wind was great in Willoughby Bay; around 10 knots early in the day, increasing to 15-20 knots later in the afternoon. The formula boards planed almost the whole time (see Colin Pitts, below), while the longboards planed more consistently as the day went on.

I had a tough time breaking into the top places, never managing more than 4th. I did well on the windy reaches and downwind legs, but just couldn't get the Kona to go upwind as efficiently as the long raceboards. Between races I experimented with my technique, timing how long it took to get upwind with the daggerboard down (slower but better angle) versus fully-planing with the daggerboard up (faster but worse angle). I realized that even in strong wind I was usually better off with the daggerboard down.

At the end of the day all the racers and crew went to the Golden Palace Chinese Buffet in Hampton. Mmm... m.s.g.

(Glenn Woodell's full photo album from the regatta is here).

1 comment:

Darren said...