Friday, July 8, 2011

Which San Francisco will we get for the Master Worlds?

Last weekend we had brilliant sunshine and could sail with, practically, only rashguards. The wind was steady from almost due west and the sailing was easy. Ah, what a difference a week makes!

This week the fog is back big time and then wind has swung to the hated (for me) SW direction. A small difference to many, but just enough to bring the wind down over the hills to the south of the Golden Gate Bridge - meaning big puffs and windshifts. I had a chance to hit the water last night, shoving off the dock around 6 pm and back in just before 8:00 pm. Any practice is good practice but mentally I just hate those long port tack upwinds straight into what appears to be an endless stream of short, steep chop coming right at you. Pound! Pound! POUND!!! Pound! The cockpit gets completely full of water, the boat always feels sluggish and, because the boat is moving slowly, in the gusts it always seems like I'm fighting the tiller and mainsheet to keep control.

But... I guess everyone else will have to deal with this too!

iWindSurf has one of their sensors located on the Anita Rock Pillar. This pillar is planted in the water about 200 yards off of Crissy Field and, in general, is a fair measure of the breeze one might expect to see at the weather mark of what will be the "south course" for the Master Worlds (and THE course for the 4.7 Worlds). Here is their summary of the wind yesterday:

Nominally racing will be in a window between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm or so. The things to note are: 1) the gust range (puff to lull) is about 10 knots, 2) the average is low-teens, 3) it is very shifty.

At the bottom of the course the wind will begin to even out (as one gets further from the hills above Crissy Field) and, in general, increase in velocity just a bit (solid mid-teens).

Anyway, fog is in now. What will we get for the Master Worlds?

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