Friday, October 5, 2007

More Measurements and Tuning...

I can not wait to get on the water and race! Today we have one more day of measurements (actual racing starts on the 6th). It is hard not to watch in amazement everyone sanding their boards, tweaking gear, and making last minute changes to try to push their gear to an ideal efficiency all while attempting to stay within the "rules."

Yesterday I decided to give my gear one last test drive. I rigged my sail, carried my board down to the dock, and then I discovered that my mast track was not working correctly. For those of you who are asking, what is a mast track? It is where the sail is attached to the board. On the RSX Olympic gear the mast track (pictured above), is adjustable via a pedal you step on with your foot while sailing. Yes, you adjust it on the fly. In light wind conditions the mast track is forward whereas in windy conditions the mast track is back. It's one of the many skills you have to work on, and work on, in order to get the transition fast and graceful, and to be able to do it in a moment's notice. The day before, my pit crew and I replaced all the ropes and examined everything except the mast track. I examined my spare board's mast track only to realize it was also far from ideal working condition. I quickly got on the phone to the distributor to overnight a new mast track. I can not stress how things like this just make you want to scream.

Many of the other competitors can contest to similar stories; as they worry about having enough replacement battens since they have broken one almost everyday in the same spot. Or they have already made so many trips to West Marine that it's starting to make their head spin. My plan was to take today off. But, it looks like I still need one more test drive. As I stated before, you need to be ready for everything which may not even be in plan A, B, C, or D.

Now, I am off to Bikram yoga to find a little balance in all this nuttiness. In many ways I am discovering the measurement process, the details, the protests, and high emotions is a lot like ice skating competitions.

Denise Parris, USA 235