Overall I had a pretty solid regatta. My speed is getting better and I'm improving a few things at a time in that respect. If I had a bad upwind, I made up ground on the reach, which is a technical ability I've never had before. Improving reaching made racing through the slalom section a lot easier (also, my jibes are a lot better from Formula training). This was the first regatta where I actually felt competitive in the slalom, and in a few instances overtook a few sailors around the turns. The most interesting aspect of speed is that it completely rules boardsailing. Although being fast with bad tactics won't improve anyone's standings, the simple truth is that speed is what separates the front of the fleet with the back. Sailors who are fast can get out of bad situations a lot easier than the slower sailors.
Also, faster sailors have an easier time executing a tactical plan. They are able to get off the starting line faster and get to the side of the racecourse where they already planned to go. For example, I can create a good plan for a race and perform a good start, but if lots of faster boards get ahead of me before I can execute my plan, I may have to bail out just to get clean air. In many instances, I have seen fast sailors have bad upwind legs, but make up ground so quickly on downwind legs that they completely save their race. My focus for the season is to make more technical improvements so my speed gets much better. This will come with very organized training and coaching, and one of my goals for this week is to put together a very good training plan. Of course, that includes working on the dreaded budget, weighing the value of new equipment versus travel, coaching, and training, and trying to manage debt.
Full story at Farrah Hall's Blog