Sunday, March 01, 2015

Breakwater to Beacon kitesurfing run, my first "race"

Session 324. I entered the Breakwater to Beacon kitesurfing run today, my first ever "race".  The event is organised by SHQ and Sandringham Yacht Club and is an informal race that intermediate kiters can enter on any board - twintip, surfboard, race board or foil board.

I was keen to have a go at something different.

Immediately I noticed my mindset was different - more like getting ready for a bicycle race.  Attend the briefing, get the bib, choose the gear.  Sector 60 or surfboard, 12m kite or 9?

I chatted with Graeme Simpson and Natalie Clark about the best gear to take.  I decided on the Sector 60 as it looked like the reach out would be upwind a bit, and my Lithium 12.

I was glad l had the 12 getting off the Sandringham beach (watch the reefs!) then puttering around waiting for the start.  I practiced a few gybes as it has been a while since I have used the Sector 60.  It is not easy to figure out when the start actually is.  The flags are only visible up close.  When the horns went I was towards the rear of the field so I started from a bit behind.

I had the Lithium on the rear knots and depowered as I tacked towards Fawkner Beacon in the distance.  I could see the foils and raceboards ahead of me but wasn't making any ground on them.

I gradually drew ahead of kiters downwind a bit on twintips and surboards.  I was also slowly gaining on one kiter on a surfboard just upwind of me and nearly passed him at the turning buoy just north of Fawkner beacon.  I turned slowly, determined not to stack, and had a little trouble getting going on the reverse tack.

Once I increased my speed the other kiter was away and I wasn't able to catch him.  The kite was nicely powered but the board was skipping over the waves and I really didn't feel comfortable going faster then I was.

My rear leg was burning about halfway so I straightened out a bit to rest it.  Getting close to finish I put on a bit more speed.  I crossed just ahead of the finish boat rather than behind it.  A fast skiff was whizzing in front of me so I slowed down a bit.

Looking around, I stacked and had to recover my board before heading into the beach.

It was a good experience - certainly different from kitesurfing waves and doing a downwinder.

We finished up with a great lunch on the deck of the Sandringham Yacht Club.

My GPS battery was flat so no track log.

 I finished 6th behind David Trewern, Graeme Simpson and Natalie Clark. My times were:
  • Out: 11:33
  • Back: 10:49
  • Total: 22:22
David did the course in 17 minutes on his foil board, quite a bit quicker than me.

The start

Heading out to Fawkner Beacon

Turning around the marker

Return tack to Sandringham

The finish

No comments: