Garda lake cross/slalom `07
Listening to Bruce winging about the weather l have decided to make an attempt to add a little warmth to those miserable cold days back home.
We have arrived to Torbole, the hot spot on Garda, a couple of days before the start of the regatta.
Huge 20-40knot winds covered the lago (lake).
While this place is a jewell for the euro sailors, this was still a highly unusual wind strength.
Blowing straight on shore, with a somewhat uncomfortable shore break, l couldn’t resist giving it a go.
It seemed only around 20-28 knots from where I was looking, so I decided to break the tradition of having my cappuccino first and hastily rigged my trusty 6.5 Being a formula sailor, l had nothing smaller in my quiver.
After a couple of smashes by the shore break and in front of all the German sailors that l wanted to impress finally made it out among the not so big but uncomfortably choppy waves.
I knew immediately that a meter and a half smaller would have been more the GO!
I could lie but will rather be honest(which has never paid before) and confess that l stayed out only about a half an hour, entertaining the German surfers (windsufer in their lingo) with my spectacular jibes.
They have never seen anything like it before,totally amazed by my freestyling ability (hanging on to everything in sight) during the jibes!
Actually, many have since thought o f giving away windsurfing after seeing the look on my face as l emerged from under the shore break on my way in.
One more thing!
The water was an amazing 23dgr on that day.
The wind has changed in the evening to the north which pushed the to the water back to the shalow waters of the south thus bringing up the cold water from the deep.
That meant an incredible change to only 13dgr for water by the morning!
Now, that’s when you don’t want to fall in at the jibes!
The day after we had no wind at all leading up to the 3 day regatta to commence.
Finally the day has arrived.
Somewhat disappointing only about 35 sailors have entered.
I have been to this regatta before and must say that I have never been lucky with the wind.
Somebody up there must have known that and decide to give us a break.
We have had wind for 3 days straight though it was of a mixture.
The best was the first day, around 14-18knots.
The next 2 days got lighter and more shifty.
The starting line was about 100m from the rock wall which is the almost vertical edge of the lake that made a true slalom start impossible.
Actually,that suited me as I had my best starts ever using the old raceboard tactics and sneaking through the flock before they really got planing.
A usual I was one of the slowest so,I did need good starts to begin with.
My problem was the length of each race.
The legs were 11.8km and we did 3 rounds in each race.
Multiply this by 3races per day and it soon adds up a few km.
I just know that I haven’t been so tired in a while.
All together we have done 8 races not counting the one where we did 2 Rounds when they decided to cancel it. Needless to say that it would have been a good one for me.
The last day`s shifty winds meant doing some upwind sailing which was mixed with some near collisions with the lakes “no mercy” ferry boats.
I ended up 13-th over all which I was very happy with.
The winner was Andrea Cucchi (cookie) as usual. He is an EX world cup sailor and it shows. Of course, he was using his new “.7” sails that he and Peter Munzlinger (YES sails) have created, on an l-sonic board.
Second was Thomas Fauster a local speedster using north/F2 combination followed by the an other local, Marco Begalli a very fast sailor with a very bad temper on north/starboard.
I must say that l did enjoy seeing a mixture of different makes of sails.
It did make the scene more interesting and colourful, prooving there is more than one good sail on the market.
Now, we are off to Ancona to visit our italian friends, for a little R&R, lie under those colourful umbrellas on the beach, drink campari, ride on the vespa and enjoy their delecious home made pastas.
They are the kindest, most hospitable people we know.
Garda lake cross/slalom `07