Wednesday, May 9, 2018

US Nationals

I know it has been a while since the Nationals in Virginia, but I felt it does deserve a report simply because it was great. I probably had even more fun than during OBX wind the week before, and that is something considering that there was no freestyle at the Nationals.

The event was run by Dave and Melissa Kashy from their home in Virginia. The location is awesome and they did an amazing job! There were free yoga classes in the morning and group dinners every night. This made such a big difference because all of the sudden you are racing with friends instead of strangers (or at least with people you have laughed with at dinner). It brings back the fun in racing where you talk to people during a slow downwind leg on the longboard, cheer for people on their formula gear when they are planing during the long distance race, joke with friends while rounding a buoy, or get tips from the race committee on the boat when crossing the finish line.

I joined the races for open, long distance and slalom. Overall it did not work out the way it was planned because I ended up on completely different gear, but I am very happy about the way everything turned out. I was only able to compete on a longboard in the open class because Chris let me use his Fanatic cat (big thank you!).
The slalom race I ended up doing on my freestyle gear because the course was set way off shore and reports talked about 3 ft swell and 25 - 30 mph winds. Of course by the time I made it out on my Skate and the 5.0 there was maybe 15-20 mph and 1.5 ft chop. Wish I would have not been such a scaredy-cat and used the 6.3 or 7.0 race sail with a slalom board. Next time!
The long distance race was fun because I got to use a Kona for the first time ever (thank you Pam for letting me use yours!). I did not expect to have that much fun on it and ended up trying some freestyle on it after the race. Now we might have to go to the Kona Worlds in October...

Here are some pictures from the 2018 Nationals take by the amazing photographers Glenn Woodell, Wendy Podmenik Darugar, and Alain Nimri:
Longboard race start
Slalom gold fleet
On the way to the race course
The Kona fleet
The amazing location - birds view
International foil action

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