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 Post subject: my race experience (Portugal)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:55 pm 
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here I will state like my experience like a daily blog.

I never raced before, only few times kitecross. But no course race.
So I will start from zero.
My only knowledge comes from reading and talking to people.
And I kite since 2000, so I have experience with handling kites, going upwind etc.

I'm in Portugal now, where the first out of 3 tour stops will have course racing as discipline.

My goal sounds simple: not be the last!
But if it will be simple, we will see!

Here info about me:

Age: 35
Weight: 94 kg
Size 1.86 m
Kite since: 2000
Style: old school

Gear:
well, here the discussions are running hot...so much different gear available, that it is hard to select.
Since I'm also on a budget, I stay with my 2006 kites, but have a new 9.0 sqm kite and 2 new boards. I never tested the 9, not the bigger of the new boards. So I have no idea how it will work out.

Here my gear:

Vegas06 16.0
Vegas06 12.0
Rhino07 9.0
Phantom 138
Phantom 149

I chose the Phantom board, since I saw a guy in 2006 winning all races during a competition with this board, so I figured, it must be good.
If it is the best for me, I don't know, I cannot test that much.

It's all North gear for now, I'm not sponsored, but got a good price on it.
I pick my gear mainly for old school and being able to do big air, so the kites are not picked because they are fast. So we will see how this works out.

The questions for me are now:
- what is the fastest setup
- what is the best setup for going upwind
- which size is the best for different conditions, e.g if the wind is gusty

I cannot test any of this, so I need to learn from race to race.
I hope to have 1 hour before the race starts to do a test run, which combinations of board and kites will go better upwind:
- small board with big kite
- big board with small kite

Normally people say, a smaller kite goes better upwind. But if you have to sinus the kite more often, it might be better to have a bigger kite with constant pull to edge all the time and go upwind better...

Well, stay tuned, on Tuesday the races will start!

If you have any questions, please open a new thread, since this thread will be reading only.

It will be exciting!
Toby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:11 am 
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today I could test a bit, but I'm not really smarter now...

I tried the 12 and 16 and both boards.

I think the 16 with the bigger board goes upwind better.
Not sure if the 12 goes better upwind than the 16...since the wind is pretty gusty.

I think I will just go for the race and see how it works out.

But I know, that there are some real freaks out there, with tuning on the boards which you have never seen before!
I will get some pictures etc.

But it will be tough finishing the race NOT being last! :o


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:54 am 
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just have to add, that it does not start really good:

pumped my 12, and one bladder popped...
Then pumped my 16, and looks like it has a small hole in the front tube, leaking air slowly...
And went out, my harness got unhooked on one side...dropped the kite near the beach, put it back on, and tried to relaunch...well, no luck, because the front tube wasn't stiff enough...so I released to 5th line and wanted to swim back in, sideoffshore winds, cold water, and I was only 100m from the beach...after 2 minutes of swimming I had no more power! So I went to the kite on one line, and got on the front tube, otherwise I wouldn't have made it!
Pretty scary how quick your energy level goes down. Luckily there was a boat putting out the buoys for teh race...they dragged me back to the beach...

Let's see what happens today...I'm repairing my tubes currently...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:28 pm 
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the gear nightmare continues!

Fronttube of the 16 is still leaking!
And after I fixed the bladder of the 12, it took about 1 hour and it was without air again...and guess what: another bladder had no more air and in the afternoon the valve of the fronttube came off completely!

Luckily, the 16 holds the air long enough so I was able to race with it today!

I took the 149 Phantom.

You need a watch for sure, to time your start right.
The red flag comes up 6 minutes before the start. Then the yellow flag comes up 3 minutes before. So if you time it perfectly, you come from behind with speed and are passing the start line when the green flag goes up (don't pass it before!).

I was lucky, being stupid! I thought in a wrong way and wondered, why everyone was close to the boat (the start was between a buoy and the judge boat). I was at the buoy! Finally I realized my mistake 1 minute before, and zoomed to the others!
That got me in a good position for the start!
Lucky me!

Off it went and we started to go upwind for teh first buoy close to shore.
Then along the shore for about 50m, and out riding a it downwind to a buoy further out, then upwind to the upper buoy on the beach again, passing both along the shore line, and out to the further one, nad back to the beach buoys and through the finish line.

So we rode the course about two times!

The crowd was cheering as we passed by next to the beach!
Really great with offshore winds!

At the first approach towards the beach buoy, some kites got tangled!

And guess what! I passed them and didn't finish last!
What a great race, I scored 5th !!!!

Although the race is very exhausting (it takes about 30 minutes).

Shawn Farley was spot on again, and won with a big distance to the second.

See results on picture further below in the next posting.

Very cool: Steph from the UK came in 3rd, and she is a lady!!!
Pretty amazing!
Girls are very competitive in course racing.
That is great! More should do it!!!

We are about 17 guys and 6 girls.


Last edited by Toby on Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:28 am 
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Day 2:

at around 6pm we started the first race of the day.

We had about 16 knots.
I used my 16 and the 149 Phantom.

My start was ok and I did pretty good.
As expected, I couldn't get the position I got yesterday, finishing 9th.
At the last buoy I got overtaken by Michael Schitzhofer from Austria, it was a close finish, but very funny!

The crowds was cheering and saw a great race.

After a 30 min break we started another race, although we all were pretty exhausted already!
The course is about 4 minutes longer than yesterday.

I did a different start to see if it does get me into a better position...I should have sticked to my starts from the first 2 races...next to the judge boat, which marks the starting line, two guy's kites got tangled...right in front of me. And from behind Jalou Langeree was coming, so I could only sit back and wait until Jalou passed my and then I got out of the way of the tangled lines.
That put me behind almost everyone...my upwind was ok, but we had 9-15 knots, so some pretty big holes in it, which made me going less upwind. But still, I finished 9th again!

For me that is great!

There are few important things I have to mention:

- luckily I bought a watch before I came to Portugal, so I can stop the 6 minutes before the green flag comes up.
All the racers have a watch, so you can cross the start line just after the green flag went up!
- having the race track along the beach for about 200m makes the crowd go wild and pushing us riders big time when they are cheering and shouting! So fun!
- organizers should never make a course longer than 30 minutes, since this is really tough on the bodies...from older guys like me to younger guys around 20! We all are very tired now!

The top riders are battling!
Here the winners of the races so far:

Men:
1: Shawn
2: Sami
3: Shawn

Women:
1: Steph
2: Angela
3: Steph

Here the link to the official press release:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2340734

Tomorrow afternoon the next races will start!
Let's see if I can get better again!
I might have a different kite...we will see!

So far my kites lasted today!
But it was scary before the first race today!
Angela walked by my 16 and said: I hear some air coming out!
10 minutes before the race started!
I checked it, and air came out of the valve! So the valve is leaking, not the front tube!
I was able to stop it from leaking, but it looked like just under pressure of the tube it worked...so I went on both races fearing not being able to finish!
That was shitty, but I was happy to finish both races today!!!

I need to rest now to get my energy back!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:10 pm 
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wow, how exhausting!

Today we did 3 races!

in between only about 20 min break!

After the first race you are already very exhausted...

Race 1:
The start was shit, because 2 guys tangled right in front of me, and Jalou came from behind, so I had to sit and wait, until Jalou passed and then I could go too.
I was on my 16 and the big Phantom.
I came in as 10th! My worst race so far!

Race 2:
Ok, wind picked up, and Steph borrowed me her Rhino7 14.
What a difference! The kites goes upwind much better and pulls less downwind, so it is much easier on my legs. Still I feel my back, because of the position your ride, twisting your body to the max to go upwind as much as possible.
I used the big Phantom again.
I came in as 7th.

Race 3:
The wind picked up even more, and I had the R7 14 again, but this time I took the small Phantom. I think my upwind was worse.
And the shame came one round before finishing...Bruno overtook me! He finished while I had to go another round...my body wished to finish as well ;-)

I'm really fighting my way through these races...I'm the heaviest rider, and the smaller the kite, the better you go upwind.

Quiet some girls win regularly over me, I have no chance to beat them!
Tough...but also cool in my opinion, that the girls kick ass!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:35 pm 
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I'm exhausted!!!

Two races today...it is so tough!!!

Scored 2 times 8th!

So my overall ranking now is 9th, I got overtaken by Denzill from England.
He is not my friend anymore ;-)

I just don't get better...but it seems other are getting better!
I'm fighting my way upwind all the time, but it does not help, I don't further upwind and not faster...so it is really tough to get better. Only other gear might make me better...so it is all about the gear, since normally I'm pretty good at going upwind.

Today I was on the Rhino07 14 and the big Phantom again.

I'm at the limit of what I can do...tactic wise and gear wise...so now I'm looking forward to race in Fuerteventura, with much stronger winds, up to 8 Bft...I think I will mainly race my 12 and my new 9...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:14 pm 
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last day no races!

:lol:

I'm so exhausted!
So a day without racing is just fine for my body...

Well, I scored 9th overall! So I reached my goal not being last!!!
I'm very happy!!! :thumb:

And one more thing: I was always riding fair, not putting anyone in danger and I finished all races! Not many finished all races, maybe 1 or 2 more guys!
Some got disqualified or missed races.
For me it was very important to finish all races and not getting tnagled or doing anything wrong that is against the rules.

I read all rules before and have them pretty much in mind. If in doubt, I asked Olaf the race director to get all questions and doubts out of my head.

Off to Fuerte now! Here the speed racers will wait for us...that will be interesting!


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