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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Texas DragonForce Series #4; Drifting into Austin...

This report is a bit behind schedule on account of my catching a frightful cold after this regatta...and the short report is I sailed so poorly there, there is little to say!

The venue in Austin is Berry Creek (actually Georgetown which is north of Austin) at Sun City. This is a very scenic venue with good shade trees, but somewhat fickle winds. On the day of the DF series the winds were bafflingly light and there were several light rain showers. I learned a few things; the DF is not a light air boat, it excels in the medium to heavy airs. Accordingly, good tuning and some practice are needed to do really well in drifting conditions with any boat, but particularly with the DF. Having neither light air practice, nor a good tune on my rig for the conditions, I was painfully slow, and never really got going well except in a few spots. The light airs and frustrating wind conditions made tempers short at times, as mark rounding could become difficult. Chuck LeMahieu looked very fast in these conditions, and if he hadn't broken down on the first race, may have won the day from Chris Macaluso. Chris wasn't quite as dominate as usual, there were several firsts to spread around, but was consistent in the win. The TRYC contingent (excepting me) fared well, Chuck LeMahieu 2nd, Mauricio Dantas 4th, and Bob Piper #9th...good job!

Upon getting home I reset PeckForce's rig to its default settings, and made some notes to try and get a good light air baseline for the next time such conditions predominate. As always in a small boat, the secret I think is to stay low and keep moving...I just couldn't get moving enough to execute any plan. Next in the DF series is the White Rock Cup in home turf, I sailed well there last time and hope to make a run...I'll be praying for a good breeze! 

The White Rock Cup sign-up is here, and is open to any DF-65, consider the trip!

Russ Gardner (the host of the DF Series in Austin) posted his report here.

Some photos, by Mike Biggs:

Clustering at the rounding...not pretty!

A little breeze at the offset settles things out...

Attractive venue, complete with small island.

Chuck sailed well, his #09 ahead of Macaluso here...

Light air start...very tricky to start clear with momentum...I couldn't on this day!

One good moment, PeckForce rounds near the head of the fleet before being annihilated on the downwind run...

A touch of breeze on this pre-start...

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