Finaly sweet taste of victory! Consistent sailing in the top paid dividend. It was a big challenge to free up my head from all bad emotions after epic fails in Warsaw Cup. I knew that in order to win any event I need to win with myself first. An extra week of no sailing helped a lot as well.
One area where I made no errors this season is runners and sails selection. All my guesses were confirmed with pre racing performace calibration together with Robert. Practice started already on Thursday with main focus on boat handling in wet and frozen snow. It was clear that Saturday racing will be on a different surface so I used my traveling runners only. I have sailed the whole sailing area to look for smooth ice, snow drifts, obstacles ect. And I found interesting patterns on the big sheet of ice near Krynica Morska. Knowing the field of your game always helps.
By studying weather forecast it was clear that the main difference between Thursday practice and weekend racing will be caused by temperature. Frozen snow will start melting. The only question mark was wheather bottom will be soft or hard.
I took Saturday morning walk to check sailing area. Snow was wet as expected, ice below semi hard and rough. At that point I knew all 90s and 95s are out. For sure I wanted to distribute the load on as big surface as possible preventing the blade to cut deep into ice. I decided for 5mm 100 degree – the ice was hard enough to hold thin insert and 24in crown was just fine. Together with Robert we were early out on the race course to have enough time to confirm our choice of runners. Longer crown was consuming a lot of speed with every tack and gybe. This is last thing you want in light wind. Shorter crown was too noisy and not able develop top speed.
I also replaced top two battens to super soft to maximize sail draft. In combination with relatively stiff mast my FO1 looked really powerful.
I had two planks: 46mm and 42mm bend. Here the choice was easy as well: go for stiffer one. In light breeze stiffer plank will force mast to bend more and this is what I wanted especially for all difficult downwind legs but the trade off was hikes if breeze picks up. Having less responsive plank I could immediately feel more pressure being loaded on the mast. Perfect.
Together with Robert we went for couple of laps to check wind patterns to work out best strategies for the race.
After having completed this must-perform-morning-routines we were confident in our programs. There was a chance that we will sail only limted number of races due to light breeze forecast. From now on it was all about being focused on sailing and avoiding costly mistakes.
In my only winning race I was carrying 360 camera. The footage will be out soon. This could be a nice boat handling guide for tricky ice conditions and gusty wind. Stay tuned for more info.