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May 16, 2010 at 12:14 PM
By: Pete
Race Day - Maui Slalom Series

"...it was kind of nerve racking with all the huge gear around me!"—Bernd

Today was race day! We woke up early and scarfed down some breakfast before getting to the beach and joining the skipper’s meeting. The race was set up with three outside buoys and three inside buoys. The first outside buoy made a start line with the flag boat. The flag boat operated a series of flags to correspond with our two minute start, yellow for 2 min., blue for 1 min., no flag for 30 seconds, and the red flag for the start of the race! From there the course was simple, go around all the buoys and then cut across the finish made by a pole on the beach and the sixth buoy. Since there were no kids doing it I would race in the 19-39 age division, after running four heats we would break for lunch and then start the next division which was Expert in my case. But I’m getting ahead of myself, first I had to race in the age group. 

     As I sailed upwind to the start it was kind of nerve racking with all the huge gear around me, I felt so small compared to everyone! My heat was the first of the day so naturally I missed the start of the countdown! I managed to get into the middle of the pack but I would like to have been in front, the race was really exciting and I loved to even get in front of a few guys! My next races went even better than before! I passed a lot of people in the start!

     After a good lunch I went back out to race in the Open Expert division! My starts were even better, for one heat. Then on the next two heats I got over early by a split second! I needed to be aggressive but I also needed to be in the race legally! So on the next start when the flag guy yelled the countdown, on “three” I started my watch and got moving. I must have looked like a moron water-starting before the countdown even ended! But it worked, I was able to plane through the start line a good few seconds behind the start but still ahead of the confused fleet! I ended up in third at the final outside buoy but fourth and fifth were close behind! I should have been paying attention to the water in front of me but I had to keep glancing back behind me to constantly block these guys! The lap was only a few hundred feet but it felt like FOREVER at the final few yards to the finish the guy behind me made a last attempt to get past me, his nose popped up to my upwind side and I tried to push him up but it was getting tight! I edged just ahead of him and crossed the finish line in slow motion. It was a great race and I hope to do more this year!

 
 
Posted: June 6, 2010 at 04:15 PM
By: Windsport Magazine

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