High hopes, huge disappointment.
Todays forecast promised great conditions with 40 knots winds all of the afternoon. I was amped up, and ready to give it my best shot. After battling it out in the nukin' gusts in the starting area, I got a few good runs. But when I checked my gps watch I couldnt understand how slow every run was. When I started checking around, it turned out that a brass nut inside the fin was ruined so when the fin screw appeared to be tight, the fin wasnt really in place after all. So at first contact with the mud, the fin was knocked out of the box a little, causing me to lose speed. Brass nut was changed, fin fastened properly but wind had gotten more patchy and I was starting to get tired.
The day started with a rough lesson in getting started with speed gear in extreme conditions. The gusts roared over the starting area, with sand flying and the sea boiling! It took me some 15-20 tries to start getting the hang of it, and after this I was ok. Or the wind just died a little, I dont know.
My first start stopped abruptly at the slingshot corner. I couldnt get my back foot in the strap and went flying. All well with gear and all, I didnt get scared, only a little annoyed.
In my next run all went well, but at the end I knocked my head into the boom (and pierced my sail with the harness hook!) A little nosebleed was the result, and I decided to call it the day.
But when I got back to the starting area, I discovered the fin problem, and I was so disappointed that I decided to eat some, rest a little, look at the others, and try over again, to see if I could improve a little.
My speed went up immediately, but another promising run was messed up as I clenched too hard on the boom, causing the harnesslines to fall out in the middle of the run. I had to abort the run, and go back to start. The next run was ok, but I had nowhere near the good conditions I had earlier.
So - despite the fact that I sailed faster than I've ever had, I was so disappointed that I actually started crying! :D That my nose is swollen, my chin aches, my fin was damaged and my sail was pierced is nothing to me, but that I ruined a fantastic opportunity by doing silly mistakes all day long is harder to accept. I try to tell myself that this is due to my lack of experience with sailing in extreme conditions, and of course this is true, but right now it just doesnt help. Boo hoo. :(