16th session in 2017
Sailed at Avon Sound, NC
Wind from the SW (mph)
Board: 2013 Choco Rodeo 124 LTD
Sail: 5.3 Severne S-1, 5.9 Severne S-1
Fin: Choco Starfish B72 22cm
Suit: Exotop and boardshorts
Air Temperature: 9 F
OBX-Wind 2017 with 177 riders on the line. Two long distance races of out-back-out-finish. It was a standing rabbit start on the sand bar. When the jet ski passed by you could start. I sailed before the start and I was nicely powered on my 5.9m2 on freestyle gear. I had a good position in the middle of the line by Phil Soltysiak who was sailing 6.0m2 slalom kit on the first race and Mike Burns who was sailing a slalom board with a freestyle sail on the second race. I was just using my usual freestyle gear/fin. Two things I would do differently. Put in a bigger weed fin in my freestyle board and fight my way to the most windward part of the starting line. The standing rabbit start is easy and fair. The problem is, you better get planing super fast or you will be shlogging for quite a while until you get clean air. Also once planing, there was no way I coud lay some of the marks or finishes without tacking. That is why I saw some weird fin set-ups on short boards. It was fun to be with so many riders and the vibe is very friendly.
In between races, very few people were on the water and the wind was still strong. After I ate my lunch, I went back out for a normal fun session that was great!
At 4pm there was freestyle show. Phil was doing amazing tricks right up close to the crowd. I thought his board was going to hit a piling on one of his combination power moves. He later told me he would have sailed even closer if it was less choppy near the breakwater where the crowd was.
At 5pm the freestyle clinic began. Phil is very cool. We went out immediately. 5 minutes into it, I stupidly got pulled over my sail by a strong gust trying to get going in the shallow water. I could not unhook and I landed on top of the sail and put a hole in the monofilm with my spreader bar. I quickly went back in and rigged the 5.3m2 which later ended up being perfect anyway. I am totally spent. The wind will shift to the NE tomorrow and the sun will be gone. I am not sure, I may have to get out the 3/2 wetsuit.