Laurence Carey (NZL 252) brings us this report from the second event of the Maui Slalom Series, the Carbon Art Challenge.
Over the past three years I have been coming to Maui to compete in the ‘Maui Race Series’ so I can train and race against some of the best sailors in the world. The ‘Carbon Art Challenge’ (15th June) was a great event with over 30 sailors competing. The conditions were very challenging with breaking waves on the start line and gusts between 25-30knots in the afternoon.
The races started at 11.30 and the ability groups were first, I was competing in the Pro division. This was a very competitive fleet with 13 people racing in each heat from 6 different countries. This made starts crucial as if you didn’t get it right you would be last to the first mark. Over the day the waves got bigger with some big crashes in all divisions. In heat one of the Pro division, Peter Slate and I nailed the start and we were the first to the mark however, I slipped at the mark and wiped out but managed to still get 6th. Over the morning the wind picked up from 15knots to around 18-20knots making the racing much more interesting and the North Team dominated the Pro division. Peter Slate got the first two bullets and Dan Ellis got the next two bullets. Peter Slate won the pro division, with Dan Ellis 2nd, and Phil McGain 3rd. I came 6th overall.
After the ability groups we had the age divisions where the races became more civilised as there was only 7-10 people in each heat. I was racing in the Open Mens (19-39) where I would be racing against Dan Ellis, Peter John and Neil Turpin from the Pro division. This was some great racing and I started off very well. I led the first race around most of the course however, on the second mark I hit the back of a wave and Dan Ellis overtook me on the inside. The remaining races were very close but Dan managed to win each heat in the age group. Peter John and I battled for 2nd as we both had the same points by the end of the day however, as I had a lower discard I got 2nd and Peter got 3rd.
This was my last event unfortunately for the summer as I am going to the 2013 IFCA worlds in Turkey – Alacati. The training I have had is invaluable and has provided me with the best preparation possible for the Worlds on July 1st – 6th. Although I wish I could do the rest of the races in Maui I will be carrying on with my university studies after the Worlds. I plan on doing a few PWA events in the near future and hopefully I will be able to come back and race next year in the race series. The next race day is on the 29th of June and is sponsored by ‘Meanline Fins’. This will be a very interesting event as the race format will be slightly different with the race legs being slightly longer and the final leg into the beach will run through the death triangle/weird wave.