Rookie PWA racer James Dinsmore sent this report to his mates back home in Poole from the Slalom at Sotavento…
The Fuerte event has been a great experience so far. Day one was a highlight in terms of results and whilst I felt pretty wobbly I managed to make it through two first rounds which was a pleasant surprise. The first of those I went through at Swifty´s expense which was a bit awkward initially. Fortunately he´s since got his act together! I have come to realise that it is quite serious this PWA business. Everyone seemed bit cliquey and not all that friendly initially but there seem to be a few more smiles now that people have relaxed a bit.
Day two was a day of shitty starts and heading down the long first reach in dirty wind trailing the big guns.
Day three today and this morning I thought I´d take action and make a confident start by the boat end but found myself out psyched by Costa Gonzales and Quintel who seemed intent on driving each other into the (most definitely not a soft and cuddly RIB but one with a very hard hull) starting boat. Needless to say I ended up last at the first mark. Second race I wenty out pretty lit on a 7.8 and finally had a decent start and was fully powered to the first mark and rounded it in fifth. I made it into third at the second mark and held it until I gybed cleanly but wide at the last mark under pressure from Jimmy Diaz and he overtook me heading for the line. Sadly I ended up in his dirty wind and a decent Frenchman Questrel just pipped me to the line. It was a case of very nearly!
Even the first round heats are pretty tough. Tomorrow morning my first round heat has got Dunkerbeck, Cyril Moussilmani and Josh Angulo in it for starters. It´s going to be a bun fight for the last qualifying spot I think! I will go for the fully lit / oh my god I´m going to die option again as that seems the only was to make it to the first mark anywhere near the front. Fred, I have come round to your school of thought that shit loads of downhaul is good on the RSRs but am now sailing them in much more wind than previously.