Sunday, October 7, 2007

Day one of racing

The need for speed and my number one competitor, Mother Nature, had a couple of surprises. First of all on my way out to the course tacking and tacking out of the boat channel, I had a seal come visit me and almost cause me to fall off my board as I let out a scream of surprise.

In the first race it was marginal conditions (light to borderline planing) and I can attest that a difference of 20 to 30 pounds in a competitor's weight makes a big difference. Downwind the light girls where planing and us tall girls were pumping our hearts out attempting every trick in the book to get planing.
We are doing a W course which is Windward (Upwind) to Leeward (Downwind), with the start and finish at the same spot. The course can be adjusted during the race which can be extremely confusing to say the very least. The goal for race completion is to have each leg (upwind or downwind) take approximately 8 minutes. For example, if we are taking too long in light wind conditions the race course will be shortened. One really has to stay focused on everything that is going on. The challenge in racing is not only to sail as fast as you can but also decide the shortest and best course to the mark. This is where I failed yesterday in the second race. I am pretty convinced that I chose the longest way around each time, missing each and every layline. It was pretty frustrating and very challenging.

Official Race Results

I really learned a lot yesterday and plan to use it today. My goal every day is to improve and have tons of fun. Long Beach is a fun place to sail with surf swell and chop. It looks like another gorgeous day on the water and maybe a even a little bit more wind. Fingers crossed, who knows when the Weather Man/Woman is correct?

Denise Parris, USA 235