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
|Heading out to Fawkner Beacon|
|Turning around the marker|
|Return tack to Sandringham|