Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Formula Worlds Day 3: Martians Come Out Of Hiding

Mornings are pleasant on Lake Potrerillos. The water is glassy, and it’s sunny but not too hot yet. The dust is settled, and sailors can rig in peace. It’s a long walk from the parking lot to the venue, and there are plenty of opportunities to take pictures. The only dilemma is because there is no wind, it’s a guessing game as to what sail to rig.

Before the racing, I rigged the 9.0 and 9.8. However, the wind filled in quite light and I de-rigged the 9.0 to rig the 10.7. It ended up being a good choice, as I needed it for the last race of the day (and should have taken it for the second race as well).

The committee held three races today, and I finished the day with a 3-4-3. I am finding out that if the wind is light, my 9.8 doesn’t compete well with the other girls’ 10.0 sails. The 2009 KA sails are easy to manage and light, but they “rig small” and my 10.7 is more comparable to sails slightly less in size. This means I’ll have to use it as much as possible so I can power through the lulls.

The last race of the day was particularly interesting because the wind dropped and I decided to go with my biggest gear possible. This turned out to be the right choice, for although I was overpowered in some gusts, the wind gets so shifty and full of holes at the end of the day that it’s important to use the big gear to maintain speed and angle. During that race, Marta and I were pretty close and ended up fighting it out on the last downwind, which was fun. She got me at the finish though, because I could barely hold onto my boom. It was slick from all the dust although I wash it constantly.

When we arrived on shore, we were surprised. Hundreds of locals showed up to watch the racing and check out the venue. Big groups of friends and families walked up and down the road and packed into the upper level of the venue. Only a small orange plastic fence separated the crowd from the racers, and people called out questions to us in Spanish and took pictures. As we drove home, the rows of cars parked on the side of the road shocked us. Of course, the bikini party on schedule for today drew a lot of folks, but it seemed like everyone enjoyed the racing too.

Tomorrow’s schedule is for three races again. I’ve got a better idea of what to expect from this venue, so racing will be a little smoother.

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