The 2013 MOWIND Race Series kicked off with the Windpower Championships this weekend in Fond du Lac, WI. The annual Winnebago Super Crossing took place Friday afternoon as a prelude of things to come. Click HERE for some details on this year’s Super Crossing.
The official racing started at noon on Saturday with southwest winds at about 10-15 mph. The race committee set the (in)famous Windpower “M” course. The first race was a pretty standard MOWIND affair with the start and upwind tactics playing a large part in the finishing order. The second race was a different story. The wind increased substantially to well over 20 or 25 mph and sail handling became the most important factor. Plenty of crashes were seen through the jibes and several wipeouts also on the downwind leg.
After racers scrapped there way around the course, a quick break was called for lunch as a figure-8 slalom course was set (3 laps per race). The wind stayed in the 20+ range and a few guys on slalom boards took advantage for the top few places in Race3. But in R4 the winds backed down to 15-20 mph with a a southerly shift making it a much tighter reach on starboard tack and quite broad on port tack. The slalom boards struggled with the high angles so the longboards took the top spots again. With diminishing winds and plenty of sore sailors, racing was called for the day after R4.
Saturday night we were treated to an excellent meal at Schmitty’s Oar House, just up the road from Windpower Windsurfing. Awards were also presented to the winners of the 2012 MOWIND Race Series (results here). After dinner and the awards, Windpower hosted their annual bonfire. NASA reported that the flames could be seen from space.
The Sunday forecast was for more wind in the 10-20 mph range, but the early risers saw no indication of it as they got to the race site. The race committee had warned us of an “Uknown Race” during the skipper’s meeting Saturday and finally gave details – we needed to complete a series of reaches and jibes (easy enough), while performing tricks like sail 360′s and sailing backwards between the marks (a bit harder), while wearing RC-issues costumes (getting weird), collecting a pumpkin before the final leg (even weirder), and finishing once the pumpkin was delivered to shore (at least we didn’t have to carve a jack-o-lantern). Sounds like fun, and it was. Hopefully we can get some pictures posted soon. The costumes were quite odd. For now, here’s a picture of the diagram the RC drew of the course.
The wind started filling in during the pumpkin race, so we went directly into more racing on the same “M” course from Saturday. Winds were in the 8-15 mph range. We got in three races back-to-back-to-back and then were up to our 2:00 limit for our last start. Racers derigged and had subs and other treats ready for them at Windpower. We’ll get results and pictures posted as soon as they are available.
LINK to photo album in the Fond du Lac Reporter
Thanks to all the volunteers that helped organize the event and do Race Committee.
- Arden, EL-11