Today is the second day of the PWA slalom event on Aruba. Jesper Orth reports for us out of a racers view.
Sponsors: RRD, KA Sails, Vector Fins, Aeron booms and CTM masts
Sailrepair WA – Jesper Orth
2 slalom rounds were completed on slalom day 1. There was lots of action all day and most sail sizes used were around 7.5-8.6.
Bjoern (SUI 11) took the first bullet and Antoine (FRA 192) the 2’nd bullet. Great performance was also seen by Arnon Dagan (ISR 1) who is currently in 3’rd overall. Also Gonzalo (ARG 3) finished the day with a 2nd place in the last round. Ben Van Der Steen had another solid performance and is in 4th overall. Finian Maynard started pretty average in the first round, but then finally got a solid 5th place in 2nd round, that should boost his confidence for the upcoming days. There are 3 more days of competition so a lot can still happens in the results.
The starts are very critical and the gusty offshore wind makes it pretty tricky to time and hit the start line in full speed. Most heats would see sailors coming towards the line in half speed and then accelerate the last 5 seconds.
Personally I tried to come from the back in full speed to pass the front row, but my success rate was absolute zero, and I would find myself fighting from the back most of the time and for sure have to consider a new tactic.
I saw a lot of heats where some local Aruba sailors got great starts. It is always great to see new faces in the events and it look like Aruba has some good talent.
The water is like sitting in a warm bath top, so most sailors hang out near the start line in the shallow water before their heat is on. It is great to see all the action in the starts so close up. Jibing is not as easy as it sounds and lots of sailors were going down in the jibe.
Tomorrow looks like similar conditions and we will continue with round 3 where 8 heats were sailed to finish a good day today.
For the women it is Karin Jaggi leading SUI 14 followed by Sofia Klepacka POL 8, who is a new face on tour. 3’rd is Valerie Arrighetti FRA 444. Lena Erdil follow in 4’th place with 2 solid results.
Besides the good news that all my gear turned up in time I also managed to upgrade my first rigging spot that was without shade and next to the transportable toilets. One of the tents arrived late and I was kind of lucky to squeeze in there and is just 10m from the water edge.
Tip of the day: You can use the “juice” from the Aloe Vera plant to cure bad sunburn.
Fact of the day: At one time, two thirds of Aruba’s surface was covered with Aloe Vera plants, and Aruba became the largest exporter of Aloe products.
PS: Make sure you can stand the strange “old onion” smell that some Aloe Vera plants get when you squeeze the juice out. Kurosh Kiani who I share the room with was not too impressed when I told him to break a leave of the Aloe plant outside and squeeze the juice onto his face to cure the sunburn, to then some seconds later realized the intense stink. He, he.