For this event, I planned to race the A class, as I knew Paul Larsen would be down, and I could learn a number of tips and tricks. During the upcoming days, the forecast appeared very changeable and very windy for the weekend. Looking at the forecast alone, it already looked as though Sunday would be a write off, resulting in another one-day event.
On Saturday morning, I was at the club early to get everything rigged and ready, however as I was waiting, the wind continued to build. So much so that when I pulled the boat out the parking space for the first time, it promptly blew over, despite that fact I had no sails rigged! After this slight shock, I elected to tie the boat down and only rig at the last minute. Fortunately, by the time I rigged up, the wind had died a little, and I was able to have the sails up reasonably safely on the beach. After launching, I made my way to the starting area as quickly as possible and prepared for the starting sequence.
During the first race, it quickly became apparent that I need to work on my upwind foiling when it was windy. Due to the fact I never really had anyone to sail against, I had never really considered how you would foil the boat upwind. Paul Larsen seemed to consistently pull away from the fleet, and quickly foiled up to the top mark. Despite the fact I wasn’t foiling the boat upwind in the heavy conditions, I was still able to keep just ahead of the classics upwind, and was quickly around the top mark. The downwind runs were sketchy at best, with strong gusts battering the boat from behind, leading to big bear-aways on the foils. Across the day, I noticed the boat was ventilating a lot more than usual, and I couldn’t seem to work out why, no matter what I tried. This made it tricky to maintain consistent foiling downwind, as the boat would tend to crash down and I’d lose distance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep up with Paul today, yet I was still finishing consistently towards the front of the fleet.
My best moment was during race 2 when the wind dropped off suddenly, and even Paul wasn’t foiling downwind. Here I managed to pop the boat up onto the foils, and pushed it deep downwind, passing Paul as I went through the downwind gate that lap. This really pleased me, as I could get the boat foiling in lighter winds, and could hold the pace fairly well, even in marginal conditions. Despite this moment, the races all saw strong gusty winds, and after a hard day on the water, everybody seemed exhausted!
As predicted, Sunday was cancelled with winds expected to touch 50kts, however the sun came out, and the prize giving was held in the top bar. Overall, I ended up finishing 4th and first youth boat in the singlehanded fleet, which I was happy with after the tough regatta we had had. Still, I was gutted not to have made the podium. Looking to the new year, I intend to make a few upgrades to the boat to make the upwind foiling easier, and hope to be consistently be foiling upwind for the Rutland Catamaran open next year!
Comments will be approved before showing up.