Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No windsurfer left behind

 I was just thinking (Boy, do I do allot of thinking), I had a great time yesterday and the day before during the evening sessions, If we can coordinate a group of windsurfer formula sailors to stick together going in the water, on the water and out of the water.

 On East Winds
  1. Start from Ovid's place 
  2. Check your lines, mast track, etc.
  3. Shoot upwind to Bear cut (close to channel marker). (10 min run)
  4. One man leads the run.
  5. Set a time, to make it to the first mark.(if you cant make it to the first mark on time, we take it as non-participant)
  6. Keep a distance between sailors (15 feet) and don't over take your partners wind.
  7. Straight down wind (10 min run)
  8. Back upwind starboard side  (10 min run)
  9. Repeat route
"Windsurfer Triangle"

        Of course this is all wind direction dependent, but on the ground prior to rigging we can take 5 min to plan out the course. After a few sessions, we would get the course and wind correlated in harmony. The whole idea is to run a triangular course, the course should be isometric. One person leads at each tack, then switch over to the next leader, everyone in the group gets a chance to lead. Very important: We wait on your sailing partners at all times. One sailor should carry an phone for emergency purposes. The key is to become more proficient with the basic skills (Early Plane, Speed, Gibes, Tacks, Fin cleaning). The competitive attitude should wait until the fun race events (Wednesday and Sunday), but during practice runs the attitude should be just for fun. I think this approach would benefit everyone, and we are able to reach more ground, water time, stamina and most important experience with proper group planning. Eventually, we can build enough stamina and proficiency to explore the entire bay as a group and even venture out to Stiltsville and beyond. Just my 2 cents.


  1. Alberto, what you propose is not how formula boards sail. You should not be sailing on a reach when powered up. Either sail the best angle and speed you can upwind or downwind . Depending on wind conditions, you can reach any destination with one tack or one jibe . No need for triangular course . Pick 2 channel markers not 3 and do a windward leeward course , which will involve one tack going to windward and one jibe going to the leeward mark . You wait for people between races. I've never seen anyone carry a cell phone for such short distances. As you experienced firsthand, you can get rescued even without it on the bay . Ocean is a different story.

  2. I totally agree with you MT, That is if were training for race. The moral of the story, is to have everyone on the same page, gain more ground and enjoy the ride as a group. Going back and forth on a bean reach for 500ft, tack, then back to shore on a formula board is not very exciting if you asked me. The marker run has been in discussing for some time now and it seems like, each man for themselves once on the water. My suggestion is plan, coordinate, and ride. The triangles on the map is for general reference only, The points on the angles identifying the channel markers on the bay. We don't necessarily need to ride a triangular course, just enough coordination for a productive ride.

  3. Great session yesterday, we manage to ride the east wind representation yesterday. We shot up to the Bear cut marker and then treacherous down wind ride to shake a leg, joining the fleet of 49er sailors from SAL. Matt wanted to join in the race, I was a bit hesistant, I watched a couple close calls between two vessels. The folks that brought their "A game" was Matt, Yandri, Ahmed and I made it to the shake a leg quadrant. Then everyone decide to go their own way, The day was ending so Ahmed and I decide to shot back to shore. After looking at the map, I was amazed the amount of distance we covered in short period of time. The angle on Matt's modified fin made a hell of a diference. Yandri's speed and angle on his new fin was tough to catch up to. I opted on using a R19 drake factory fin, what a mistake that was; No Downwind control, board wanted to go upwind and I had a hard time pointing. On the upwind run the fin spun like a top. Ahmed was overpowered on his 12m sail, but seem to handle his game. Jason the upcomming newcomer had trouble with his downwind as well using the same Drake R19 factory fin.

  4. from my yesterday's GPS track log:
    -upwind speed 16 to 22 mph
    -downwind speed 16 to 26 mph
    -wind speed was 10 to 17 kt
    -total sailed distance was 17 miles , which is typical for what can be sailed from 5:30 PM .
    And yes, the latest fin modification made a lot of difference . I had modified this fin once by making it thinner , then a second time by adding width at the tip and thinning it more, and a third time by making it even thinner . Each time the difference was noticeable , especially the last one increased my average speeds by 3-4 mph , the fin's wind range by a lot (I was overpowered on it in winds over 14kt, now it still sails fast in 17kt), upwind and downwind angles also improved.
    Although I should know by now, I keep getting surprised by how extremely small changes in gear have a huge impact in sailing performance .