Hayling Island Easter Race – April 2014

One week after the Head of the Dart and it was time to race again. This race is a 6km race, starting and finishing at Hayling Island Sailing Club. A varied race with upwind, downwind and crosswind legs and a couple of buoy turns thrown in for good measure.

The start was really choppy and the line extremely short. Unfortunately most people had the same idea as me, start at the pin end and get out into open water quickly. Therefore, quite a bit of crowding and bumping before the start. My Starboard Ace is a great board when it is moving but difficult to hold on a bumpy start line. With two minutes holding on the line I was starting to feel seasick due to the constant movement, just wanted that start gun to go.

As soon as I was off I knew my board choice was correct, the Ace is fast in the bumps. Also due to the amount of weed in the water I was thankful for my Black Project weed fin. I got to the first buoy turn in fifth place, with 4 males on 14’ boards in front of me. Now time for the first upwind leg and I was feeling strong, so did not lose too much speed. The crosswind leg was difficult, so I decided to paddle a higher course and take a longer downwind leg. This worked well for me, I was now in 4th place and was increasing the distance between me and the next 12’6 board behind me. The last upwind leg was hard, I was starting to tire but luckily for me the guys behind seemed to be tiring also.

The finish line was getting close and I realised I had no idea what the finish procedure was. Do I pass the flag or do I run onto the beach to the flag. Bugger, I had better do both. I then paddled just past the flag and turned my board towards the beach, jumped off and ran. There was no way I was losing this race due to a technicality.

I crossed the finish line in 4th place overall, 1st female and 1st 12’6. 2nd place female – 6 minutes behind me and 2nd 12’6 – 4 minutes behind.

Everything just went right with this race.

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