Report by racer and US Windsurfing Regional Director Tammy Bockius
Maui’s Kanaha beach park enjoyed perfect 20+ m.p.h.trade winds and blue skies this past weekend. The 4th event of the 2013 Maui Race Series, the Quiksilver Cup, was well attended with recreational and pro sailors, spectators and photographers.
On race day, I like to get to the beach early and rig every sail that I own. The skipper’s meeting is always at 10 a.m., our fearless race director, Joe Boersma, goes over the rules and gives everyone a pep talk. We are allowed to launch at 11 a.m. for a warm up, the first possible heat start is at 11:30. It’s important to check out the wind direction and strength, sail the race course, see exactly where the buoys are placed, take a good look at the start line. It also helps to choose the right size sail to race on, which I decided to do this time.
All the Women racers, Argentina Jiminez Bonilla, Diane Sakamoto and Toshie Yamamoto, were hitting the start line on time. My starts in the afternoon were good too, ‘text book’ you might say, if there was a book on correct slalom starts. Argentina is very fast so I have to sail my best to catch her. I had my timing down and eagle eyes lined up on that first inside buoy. I am not the biggest or fastest sailor, but lucky for me, slalom racing is more than just sailing in a straight line, it is a ‘zig zag’. Jibing technique is as important as pure board speed. I won all 4 women’s heats on my Maui Sails tr-9 5.1 and custom Carbon Art slalom board. I love that board, seriously, I named her “Relentless”, I printed it with a sharpie on the tail. My bigger slalom board is named “Ruth” ( yes, it is biblical, short for “Ruthless”). I had one very clean jibe at the first buoy, just winged it out of there, a ‘dream jibe’ you might say. The rest were somewhat ‘careful’ granny jibes but one of my personal racing rules is ‘whatever you do, do NOT fall in’. If you are in the back of the pack, go for it, it’s ok to fall in then. My 13 year old daughter, Sailor, was the youngest racer and only Jr. female, she knew to stand it up around the whole course.
The Men had some very competitive heats with several exciting races. There were the usual local All Stars in attendance, Peter Slate, Micah Buzianis, Phil McGain, Dan Ellis, Kevin Ozee, Peter John, Mike Yasak, Neil Turpin, Ben Massenburg, Chris McNeil, Greg Thomas, Chris Freeman, Matt Daniels – there were also a few very fast visiting racers, Gunnar Asmussen and Marco Lang from Germany, Eric Lemire from France, the Holliday Brothers Jack and Luke from New Zealand.
It is always interesting to watch their starts, observe their racing tactics, see who comes out of that first buoy in front, note how much distance they can put between themselves and second. The North team Boys were bringing it, the Hot Sails riders were sailing well, the Maui Sails team took some titles, everyone was sailing their hardest. Race day will bring out this extra something that YOU might not even know that you had. Training, focus and determination, there was a lot of that on display this past weekend.
All the racers and their friends and families enjoyed the awards beach ceremony after racing. Thank you to Hi-Tech and Quicksilver for sponsoring the event. Also, thanks to Pollis Mexican restaurant and US Windsurfing for buying extra trophies again (there are 9 divisions, sometimes 10 or 11). Also a BIG Mahalo to Pacific Millworks and the AWT for loaning us their beautiful custom built wood awards podium.
The first 4 MRS events will be calculated for the Maui County overall title awarded at the next event. The 5th and last event, the Hawaii State championships, will be held July 27th. The Maui Race Series is looking forward to next Summer, 2014, its’ 30th continuous year. Make plans to come join us for some stellar racing here on Maui. Sailors of all levels, ages, sizes and gender are encouraged to participate in the longest running Slalom series in the world.
Aloha from Maui, Tammy