Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Ought to Know Better Than to Do this Race Again

The wisdom of "quit while you're ahead" is apparently lost on me, because I've signed up to do Ron Kern's "Inlet to Inlet" windsurfing Death Race in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow. I'm "ahead" only because when I did the race in 2008 I actually finished the whole 23+ mile course from Port Everglades Inlet to Hillsboro Inlet and back. About 20 people entered the race that year, but several were destroyed by the shorebreak before reached the starting line, and most succumbed to cramps and fatigue while zig-zagging upwind through big ocean swells and chop for hours. I was the fourth and last finisher on my Kona Longboard with a 7.8 sail- far behind the top three hotshots on their formula boards and >9 msq sails.

This is a picture of race organizer Ron Kern's GPS track from 2006. This year the wind is supposed to be about 15 knots from the East-Northeast. The amount of East in the wind could have a strong effect on how many tacks it takes to get to the upwind mark. If it's more East we might be able to make the mark in one tack, but if we're on the same tack for 11.5 miles straight our legs are going to die, so I almost hope the wind is more North. 

This year, since I have an old formula board and a 9.5 msq sail, I think I'm going to try that. If it's real windy I might use an 8.0 msq sail instead. I'm going to put my GPS and cell phone in waterproof bags in a "Camelback" pack with freshwater and some candy bars and stuff. If I have to drop out of the race I'll limp to the nearest shore and call for rescue.

Wish me luck.


JSW225 said...

That's really cool! But doesn't a formula board take more work than a longboard?

Brian S said...

Based on my one-time HIHO experience, it should be fun (?). The camelback is a must. Hydrate before the race too.

riggeek said...

Hi James,

My advice for endurance events it to take a Berocca (fizzy vitamin B) drink a couple of hours before the race starts. This seems to work really well for me. I can manage a 4-5 hour session after one of these, but suffer cramps without it. They contain sodium, so also boost your electrolytes, so drink plain water during the race. A good alternative to candy is dried fruit, it tends to release sugars slower so you get more of a sustained hit rather than all at once. You probably want to go to a health food store and get things like dried pineapple - stick it in a zip lock bag.

Best of luck - I am sure you will let us know how it goes.

Johnny Douglass said...

I trust your sweetie will be close to shore and ready to receive any phone calls. Don't be stupid.