30 July 2016

Racing in Maui had been a childhood dream for 45 years.
At the grand old age of 50, it finally came true.
Having never raced there before or sailed there in the summer, we thought it would be a good idea to get there a week before the Hawaii State Championship. That would also be just in time to compete in the Mean Line fin slalom as a learning exercise.

The plan worked fine initially as we landed on Friday and managed to sail the same day.
I met my friend Dan Ellis who I hadn't seen since 2008 at least. It was great to sail with Dan after all these years.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Darby struck Maui the following day so all the State parks were closed and the Mean line fin slalom had to be postponed to Tuesday or Saturday July 30.
We were fortunate to be able to launch from Camp 1 where we were staying on Saturday 23 July. Despite the Hurricane, the conditions were perfect with solid winds and some sunshine. 
We had some big swell and it was great to sail in the waves on slalom kit with Dan.
The following day (Sunday), the wind was light with showers. I still managed to go out late in the afternoon with the 8.6.
Over the next few days, the wind kept picking up to the point where I was overpowered on the smallest sail I had (5.4 Gaastra Vapor).
The Mean Line fin slalom was postponed to Saturday July 30, on the same day as the Hawaii State Championship. The Meanline fin slalom would run first followed by the Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship. Two slaloms in one day, that was a packed schedule! 

On Race day, the wind started a little light so I started with the 7.9.
The Mean Line Fin slalom went well.
I was competing in my age group, 40 to 59.
My starts were consistent and I was battling out with Mike Yasak. I got 3rd, 2nd and 3rd. Mike got 2nd, 3rd and 2nd so he came out on top with second place and I finished third.
Phil McGain was unbeatable with all first places.

Next was the Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship. Again, I started in my age group with three races. This time, I beat Mike Yasak with a second, third and second to finish in second place.
Phil McGain was flying in front with three firsts.
I had entered the Pro fleet for the afternoon races. That event was four races.
I was over early at the first start and I crashed at the first jibe in the second race.
Races 3 and 4 went better with a fourth and a fifth place.
Overall the event was awesome with so many top racers and amazing conditions!