Sunday, 19 April 2009

Back in Black

I was looking forward to this one, and for the first time in a very long while I felt a touch of nerves before the start. 22 Foiler Moths turned up to the new home of UK foiling, Hayling Island Sailing Club, to be greeted by sunny conditions and 12 knots of breeze.

For me it was my first proper race in this country in my Mach 2.

We were out in the bay and on a 3 lap windward/leeward course I won the first race by five minutes fifteen and the second by just over four. I had outstanding boat speed and despite low to medium levels of boat handling just sailed away. Michael Lennon was second in both.

Then the wind went fickle and in race three I led by 300 meters around the last windward with a run to the finish. In a dying breeze I foiled into no wind and the others came around and gybed. The race was won by Andrew Friend, I came eighth...

The next race and again I led around the first windward mark only to park it in no wind, and the others, seeing me stopped, gybed and I went round the leeward eighth. I gained 6 boats on the next beat but couldn't catch Mike Lennon who won.

Overnight I led but I had a feeling I'd been beaten by better sailors in the tactical light and shifty conditons of race 3 and 4.. That evening I discussed with a friend how to re-hydrate and what to eat before the start to keep some energy. Porridge and banana it was!

Today it was windy and even getting to the start was a challenge. I dialled the ride height down a bit and won all four races. These two lappers were closer and I saw three boats racing for 3rd place cross the line within seconds of each other. Just great competition, but it was important to me to win and I didn't push the boat hard, or me.

Special mention to Rod Harris for coming fourth and demonstrating that hard work pays off.

Extra special mention for Tim Boon who port tacked the fleet only to nose dive in front on 15 starboard tackers. But then he did it again and it worked.

Extra extra special mention to the new Zhik super warm skiff suit and super warm top I was wearing. Just the best kit I've ever used, no prehistoric zips and a quality and design that's a cut above the rest.

So a great weekend with four races each day, and some tired sailors. I'm very pleased to have won, this thing is a rocket ship, I don't think anyone would deny that. I need to let my knee heel, get back in the gym, and do some regular racing. Then we'll see how fast I can go..


Thierry said...

Good job flying man!!!!


Anonymous said...

Zhik have you down as 25 years old!!!!!!

Must have the 5 and the 2 round the wrong way!