23rd of January 2005, Australia, Oceanic Championships

Day 2 report from Allison Shreeve

by Allison Shreeve (AUS-911)
Another perfect day of sunshine, good wind and three more races added to the results sheet.

Racing started late today due to a local triathlon being held at the Elwood club. While all cars where eagerly anticipating the runners tofinish, Ian just decided at 11:10am to cut the barricade so we all dodged the straggling runners to enter the car park allocated for us.
Even with the car park issues, the first race still started as scheduled at 1:10pm with a nice 15 knot sea breeze.

Some decided to follow Wotjek's lead and go out on the 9.8m sail, while others decided to be brave using their largest rigs. Bad move..and to their disappointment the wind continued to build, so those with 12.5m sails got hammered. Anna used an opportunity to overtake me when one of my gibes failed but she too was under pressure from the men bearing down and the tight course angles, resulting in her taking a quick swim also.

For Race 2 most changed down with the building swell making it difficult to even hold a 10m. The girls all went small, Anna and myself on a 9m, and Hayley on an 8.5m to stay in control. With the same course having the gate in the middle, we had to go through it on both up and down wind
legs. Many found their gibing skills really need to be worked on, while others took the opportunity to gain one or two every mark rounding. I don't know what was harder, pulling off a nice gibe in the waves or dodging the fallen comrade in front!

Races 3 and 4 saw a change in the course diagram. Most unable to remember the complexity of the course resorted to drawing on the back of their hands and sails. Race 3 was about to start with the top mark less than 100m upwind of the starting line and was postponed when they realized you could almost lay the top mark if you started on starboard at the boat. They extended the first beating mark and we were away five minutes later. With the wind now building to 25-30 knots many found themselves swimming a lot more then they would have liked, and with the minimum of 6 tacks and 6 gibes necessary to complete the course many errors were made at the mark roundings with many sailors frustrated at losing places on every gibe. Some just couldn't make it the whole race and retired early. The race committee is doing a wonderful job with breaks and course lengths etc but most of us know that Formula boards are not designed to sail reaching angles in 30 knots of wind and choppy
water. It certainly made for a very challenging day anyway, and tested the resolve of even the most experienced windsurfers. Race 3 was a tough one and everyone that crossed the finish line deserves a pat on the back and congratulations for surviving until the end. After Race 3 there were many discussions whether we should do a fourth, as the wind didn't seem to want to back off, and some were exhausted from the race before. The option was to stay on shore for 1 hour and reset the course
to a windward leeward course, or cancel it straight away and go home.

The latter resulted in a cheer from the beach as the PA announced that there would be no more racing for the day and the sign off sheets were out.

The top men continue to be consistent in their results which at the end of the day sees Wojtek leading, following by Jesper V, Jesper O, and Sean in real striking distance of a podium finish at this stage. JP, Sam, and Mike Nelson are all working hard in hot pursuit of the leaders.

I look forward to seeing what interesting course diagrams the race committee comes up with tomorrow! No-one can complain about being bored or unchallenged, and most would agree this event is stretching us all a little out of our comfort zone in what is turning out to be a great regatta.

Allison Shreeve (AUS-911)