Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kiel Week, Day 1

A wind forecast is normally just a guideline. The wind will always do what you least expect it to, and today's conditions weren't exactly as predicted. We had rain in the morning, which killed most of the breeze, and from then on the wind was pretty squirrely. Several lines of clouds came through, and a small storm. The committee was trying hard to get three races in today, so we could be ahead of schedule for the forecasted light wind for tomorrow.

We had two races in offshore wind of about 5-10 knots. It was very gusty and as we are near a point of land, we saw some really big shifts. In general, the left side was favored only because the pressure was slightly better. If the right side had pressure, it sometimes was better but only for short periods of time. Bands of wind were coming from the point, and it paid off to stay in these and pay attention to the pattern of shifts. We didn't see much planing today, except in a few gusts downwind.

My first race went pretty well, as I hit the left side early. We had a big shift at the start which made the pin end favored. Luckily I reacted pretty quickly and was in the front of the fleet at the upwind mark. I was having trouble reading the shifts that close to the shore, and unfortunately lost out a bit there. I'm still working on my old nemesis, downwinds, and am focusing on pumping technique. The second race I went right, which worked on the first upwind leg. However, it fooled me during the second upwind as the pressure seemed better, but actually wasn't...tell me how that works, but ok. I lost the pattern of shifts and every time I tacked it seemed like I would get headed 20 seconds later. Needless to say I lost some ground during that leg and it was a bit frustrating.

Overall my coach is happy with the improvements I'm making. We are doing video again and it's nice to sit down and discuss everything that happened during the day.

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