Red-raw at Dalarö

Maximum effort yesterday, 6 hours sailing so much so that 12 hours later my fingers are still shredded and wrinkled from grappling with the boom.
it was an interesting session at Dalarö yesterday, forecasted winds of 10mps or greater had me hoping I would finally get my board planing. I bought an exocet Nano 125L in September and I had yet to see it do anything other than plough through the water. it is very frustrating as I can feel there is enormous power but I just can’t get the board to leave the water, rigged up a 5.5 sail which was plenty for Andys board and spent a few hours trying to get the board to perform with no joy, I played with the mast foot position, the height of the boom, even on the same tack as other surfers I was so much slower by as much as a half I would estimate! The wind dropped a tad and I went out to rig up a 7m sail, no excuses for not planing for lack of power anymore! headed out again and spent 2 hours dodging the kite surfers and getting utterly frustrated with the lack of progress I was making when Andy spotted another surfer with almost exactly the same setup as me! He had a 7.5m cross sail and a 115L exocet original board so a slightly larger sail on a slightly smaller board. I had to know if it is me or the board that was the problem so I asked him to try out my board and give his honest opinion which he kindly did. He attached his sail to my board and spent the first few minutes falling off of it, and then suddenly he flew off across the bay it took maybe 30m for him to get it up on to the plane, tried to to jibe and fell in. Then spent a time getting back on the board, the swell and waves were not insignificant and then skimmed back again. His verdict is that even though it’s a more buoyant board than his it is much more unstable but once up on the plane stays there very easily, it behaves very differently to his. So I guess that part of the problem is my inexperience compounded by a board that due to it’s lesser stability is not very forgiving to bad technique and hinders progress because it doesn’t allow you to explore where your going wrong before you get thrown off. This needs some thought, do I get another board or invest in tuition, if I spend as much on lessons as another board would I get to the level of skill that’s required to sail the board I have? Neil


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