Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I love Kona racing

We went to the Kashy/WET regatta last weekend and had an enormous amount of fun. Nina raced our Fanatic Ultra Cat, I joined 15 others in the Kona class. Conditions were perfect for long board racing - mostly sunny, wind mostly between 10 and 20 mph, enough for several long board and formula races each day. There were just too many things to like, and I have to run to the ABK camp soon, so I'll just list a few things:

  • Great location at Dave Kashy's house - flat water with a good catch from 3 sides
  • A very friendly crowd - competitive, but relaxed enough so fun came first
I loved racing the Kona One. We arrived friday morning after driving through the night. With 3 hours of sleep, sailing on Friday was a tad challenging, but it helped me to get dialed in a bit. Steve Gottlieb, who brought 15 Kona's for racing from Florida, was very helpful to everyone who needed tips for tuning and sailing, which made things a lot easier. Here's are a few things I loved about the Kona racing:
  • The board has a nice glide in light wind, making sailing in 5 mph fun
  • When the wind picks up, so does board speed. It gradually increases until the board comes up to a full plane. 
  • Planing on the Kona feels different from short board planing, but it's fun! The GPS showed that my top speed was close to 20 knots, which is pretty close to what I would have reached on a freeride board in these conditions.
  • Sail sizes are based on body weight - I sailed a 9.0, lighter sailors used smaller sizes down to 6.6. That made the racing fair across all body weights. Board speed was indeed the same for different sail colors (= sizes) on the water.
  • No pumping allowed, so races were decided by skill, not by stamina.
  • Almost everyone who raced had his moments of glory, be in front or close for at least a part of a race.
I have to run to yoga class before camp, so I'll leave you with just a few pictures:
Waiting for the next race

Run, Nina, run!

Formula race start

Formula action

Pro formula winners

Happy sisters


  1. Great post - I agree! Fun to meet and sail with you and Nina. I'd like to link to this post from http://windsurfbaba.wordpress.com Is that ok with you? (reblog would be better but we are on wordpress).

  2. Wie geht's? Gruss aus Kanada :-)

    How did the FUC/Fanatic Ultra CAT do against the Kona's ??
    Sailboarder and I feel the FUC may have an advantage in the lighter winds

    1. Joe, the longboards started 5 minutes after the Konas. They can point a lot higher; otherwise, speeds seemed similar, if you take into account that the longboards had larger sails and were allowed to pump. In the lighter wind races, the top longboard guys caught up with most of the Kona fleet - but those guys are amazing racers. Most Kona racers had pretty limited race experience.