3 / 4 May 2014
PHOTOS : http://www.calcupevents.com/gallery/14%20Elvstrom%20Zellerbach/index.htm
Day 1 – It was the first race of the season in the Bay area apart from the Friday night series.
It was a good opportunity to check on each other’s new kit. Tom Purcel had a bright yellow JP board.
I had my new 167 Starboard . Soheil was also on a JP. Al Mirel and Chris Radkowski were on Starboard 167s. Quite a few of us were on Maui Sails. A good number of kiters were on hydrofoils. I rigged up my 7.7 Maui Sail based on my last experience when the wind picked up like crazy for the Calcup held at Crissy after the America’s Cup. The wind was reasonably strong but it wasn’t nuclear. So much so that I was a bit under powered on the 7.7. Nevertheless I managed to come third in the first race, second place in the second race and first place in the last race of the day. The wind finally picked up quite strong for the last race of the day so I was nicely powered up. Crissy always has quite a few shifts so you had to keep your eyes open for the puffs coming from the beach or the in the middle of the bay.
The top few kiters have really mastered the art of foiling now. Their performance upwind is impressive. The biggest difference is when the chop is short and harsh. The foil keeps them clear while the formulas slow down quite a bit due to hull slap.
Day 2 – The forecast was for lighter wind so I rigged up a bigger sail. It was still not quite big enough though. I was a bit underpowered. The first start was interesting. The line was favored at the boat. Usually, the board nearest the boat has an advantage. This time, we all got headed going towards the shore. Steve Bodner made the most of it and come out on top. Steve got a nice lift on port leading the fleet by a good margin at the first windward mark. I thought he was gone for good but a good shift brought me back in the race for first during the second upwind leg. We had a good battle downwind but Steve got this race to the finish and I was close behind.
The second race started ok for me. I rounded the top mark second behind Al Mirel but I made the mistake of heading to the middle of the bay during the downwind leg. There was more pressure and good shifts near the shore. Al got a massive lead. Tom Purcell and Steve Bodner overtook me. There was no recovery from there so I finished 4th.
The wind picked up nicely for the last race and I was feeling comfortable. Finally, I was properly powered up! I had a good battle with Tom Purcell. Stakes were high. I think three or four of us could have won the regatta going into the last race. It was now or never so I put my foot down to stay ahead of Tom in the last downwind.
I won the regatta in the end with 9 points, Tom was second with 11 points. Al Mirel was third with 12 points and Steve Bodner fourth with 13 points. It was close!
Thank you to St Francis Yacht Club for hosting yet another great event. Racing there is always special and the setting is amazing!