I didn't feel like doing freestyle today in cold and rainy weather and decided to join Peter for some slalom action in East Bay instead. I went out on my 89l slalom board, the 5.6 race sail, and a 32 pointer fin. And managed to sail almost 4 runs before my session was cut short by a "spectacular catapult" (Peter's words).
I am not really sure what happened, but think it was a combination of using the waist harness the first time on race gear, and having a fin that was a bit too big. I got the waist harness idea from seeing a few of the better guys using it with slalom gear and thought I'd give it a try. I was perfectly fine, planing along in a straight line at around 50 km/h when a gust hit. I believe the board must have railed up due to the big fin (which I had noticed before but was being too lazy to change), and that in combination with the waist harness made it impossible for me to hold the sail down. The landing was pretty hard and I managed to hit the mast with the side of my head which has now a lump and a hot swollen ear. It also took me 10 minutes to get back up on the board due to the mast sleeve being full of water and me needing to figure out how to deal with that. On the positive side I learned how to water start a sail where I could not even push the tip out of the water, and to use a smaller fin and the seat harness for speed sailing in the future. The trick for water starting was to put the mast on the back of the board. Even though the boom did not touch it this gave it enough lift that I managed to push the tip up int the air to drain the mast sleeve.
Luckily I am fine except for a slight headache and all our gear survived! The good news is this combo has quite a bit of potential as I managed to hit 29 knots in the few runs before I crashed while I was still changing stuff around and not even doing any speed runs.