Petone Beach

(AKA Petone) Petone, Wellington, New Zealand

Av. Rating in 145 Sessions
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Going for the triple

Petone Beach, Petone
Windsurfing: Racing
1 pm - 3 pm Sunday. March 21. 2010
my rating 3 star rating
Wind Direction: N Wind Strength: grovel   using 6.6 - 7.0m sail. Swell Direction: Swell Size: nonexistent Tide: Mid - Falling.

I really love racing . . . The up and downs, the in and outs, the strategy. Today had all of these and more, although we could have done with a tad more wind.

I put my plan into action and stuck to the starboard side of Somes Island. Immediately I thought that the plan was coming undone. I could see the sailors on the port side of the course getting some good lift while i was languishing in the doldrums. It seemed like an age before the wind filled in and I finally got the 125 litre Fanatic Ray the C3 Sting 42cm and the 7.0 Severne Overdrive on the fly. I was still on and off the plane until 500 metres before the tip of Somes. I pretty much thought all was lost for even a top ten finish. But I stuck to my plan (not that I had a choice).

Closer to the Island I started to get some really good lift and make some good ground downwind. Kept in the wind through the inside of the island, as per the plan and somehow managed to leapfrog the majority of the fleet which had become becalmed on the port side of the island.

Only two sailors in front of me now. Clayton and Tom Taylor. Once I past the bottom of the Island I got into another couple of good gusts and managed to get past and pull away from Tom mainly thanks to the larger board and sail combo. I was on a roll and had only Clayton to catch now to pull a triple.

I was starting to believe it was going to be possible too as I started to pull him in by getting into more favourable wind shifts. However, it was going to be a big ask as I had no gear advantage this time, I had a lot of ground to make up, and Clayton is a one of the most experienced race sailors in the country.

Unfortunately the wind also deserted us the closest we got to Eastbourne and while I was only about 100 - 150 metres behind Clayton there was no getting past him as we both limped to the finish line. I didn't give up though until I actually saw him hit the beach as I was higher and behind him and any lift would got to me first and have given me a shot.

So in the end another second place . . . . in a season of seconds. However, not bad considering that at one point I thought I was going to be lucky to place at all. Lessons learnt today - never give up - stick to the plan.

Congrats Clayton, thanks Wild Winds, and thanks to the WWA for a really well run event.

Will post the GPS track once Dave McPhee down loads. Top speed from memory was around 27 knots.

6 thumbs up!

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