After having my tramp swapped from day 1, I was keen to get back into racing to pick up some good results to get me up the scoreboard. Unfortunately it wasn’t such a great day, I was rushing to get out on the water (no need to) and in doing so I encountered a 5 point scoring penalty for not signing on (my fault), added to my first result for the day which bumped my 36th (across the line) to 41st. Even with good starts I fell back into the pack; I was struggling on the upwind to gain height, in comparison to everyone else I felt as though I was reaching around. I tried changing settings to improve the performance in this area, even changing my boom attachment point on my mast between the second and third, but non of this seemed to make any meaningful difference.
Results: 41 28 40
I needed to get my boat sorted. Going over everything that had been changed, the biggest from when I had been training at home was my new sail. With Dad and Sean’s help over the phone I tuned up the sail to have much more batten tension making the sail have a lot more shape and a more rigid form. Hitting the water the whole setup with the other small changes I made, felt dramatically better. Out on the course before the start I had the chance to match up against some of the top boats and was able to match pace and angle with them which was fantastic compared with what was seen the day before.
Racing got underway and with a reasonable start I began to head to the left side of the course. As we fell into a lull I tacked to try to get to the breeze towards the right which was where all the foiling boats were at the time, but then the breeze dropped on the right… So I tacked back onto Starboard to go left… In hindsight, I see know all the breeze was on the edge of the course and I made it extremely difficult for myself tacking so many times and basically staying in a hole in the middle of the course.
Eventually I found some breeze and used it to fly on the port, which at had the closest angle to the top gate. I managed to string together a few of these gusts to get to the top mark in the area of 15th. My mistake here was that I chose the option to continue foiling around the right hand mark (away from the wind) rather than dropping off the foils and leading a bunch of other boats into the left hand mark which would have seen me sail towards the breeze and secure my position.
I worked to gain these places back in the light marginal foiling conditions we had on the downwind too. As we approached the bottoms gate with huge compression in the front of the fleet, the race committee abandoned the race and an hour later all racing for the day. Unfortunately this meant there are no results to show for the work done to get back on track and competitive in the fleet.
This concluded the Australian Nationals with my final position being 41st. Next up is the Waszp Worlds starting with the knockout slalom racing.