ACT #4: NEEDS AND DUTIES
What do I do when I get there?
First thing to do is to go to the hotel or apartment and drop off all the things you won't need on the beach. If you stay in your van or camper you better get organized to be comfortable.
One of the tricks to be prepared is to go to an event only with useful things. Leave home anything which you are 100% sure you will not need. Take with you spare parts which fit to your gear and not things which were good on booms of the 80s etc...
Make sure that you have all you need. Don't come to the event knowing that you are missing an extension, rope for one boom, harness lines etc. You need to set you mind free to focus on the race. Even at the PWA there are some riders hoping that it will not windy for that sail for which they don't have a boom then you see them rushing to see if they can borrow one if it's needed. Or running around looking for a screw for a fin! So make sure you rig everything you plan to bring, check that everything works, and that nothing is missing.
At the event there is a big parking place right by the beach. First ones to get there have the closest place to the beach. Let's say that there it's not so far to walk though even if you are not first line.
There is also no space problem to rig the gear on the beach or at the parking. Unless you are sleeping next to the sails, the best is to de-rig and rig every day. Takes a bit of time, but you need to rig maximum 3sails, so it does not take more than 15minutes. The skipper meeting is not super early in the morning so there is time to rig the sails, and from the skipper meeting to the start of the race there is 1hour.
Anyway, for those who get there for the stage, we will help sorting you out on the 28th. Those who will come the after the stage they need to carefully read the next lines.
The best is anyway to arrive at night the day before the race starts. This gives you time to have a good sleep, wake up have a good breakfast and arrive in shape at the event. The inscription can be done the day before, and that is the best time. You do it in the evening, get all your bag which contains all the information that you need to have, some gadgets and the lycra. Then go to have a good dinner with lots of pasta. Dinner will make you sleepy and give you energy for the next day. The lycra costs 35euros. If you give it back you get the money back, if you keep it for memory, you know the price.
The inscription is at a tent behind the beach. In the middle of the parking so the place is easy to find.
How does a day at the Defi work?
After a great breakfast, make sure that you are at the beach around 9am. This gives you time to get some equipment ready before the skipper meeting. Check the forecast in the morning so you already know more or less which sails you need to rig for the day. Bring the gear to the beach and make sure that nothing flies away. Once everything is ready, go sit down out of the wind if it's cold and out of the sun. Don't waste energy walking around. Enjoy time with some friends relaxing. This is also the perfect time for drinking a lot of water, up to the start of the skipper meeting.
The skipper meeting is almost 1hour long the first time. So take a sit and don't be in a hurry. The skipper meeting is behind the beach on the stage. During the skipper meeting they will tell you a lot of things that I will tell you in the next mail.
Bring your starting watch at the skipper meeting. They will give one hour count down to the start of the race. That means that when that hour is finished, you will have to cross the starting line! So get ready!
As the skipper finishes, one hour is a lot for those who are used to race normally as they are used to only 15minutes! If it's the first time then you still have enough time, but there are a lot of things you need to take care about.
- Go sign out with the organizers (Informing that you will enter the water, so they know who is out and who is in). If you forget and you will get disqualified. There is a big table with all the names on. Go sign your name that race which you are going to race!
- Make sure that the sails you have rigged are good for the given wind. Otherwise rig an extra sail. Always rig minimum 2 sails. If one breaks or the mast breaks, then you have a second one ready to go. No panicking then few minutes before you needs to be on the water!
- Get changed, and if it is cold wear a jacket over the wetsuit until you go on the water. You can leave your jacket tied to your other sail you will leave on the beach.
- If you are ready before starting time, go on the water to see if the sail is big enough and not too big. Don't ask around which sail the other will use. Think to be at your home spot and that you go sailing by yourself. Imagine asking someone with 20kg more than you, or someone who had 20years less experience than you! You know what you need, don't get insecure all of a sudden by asking others.
- To get to the starting area you take 10 minutes, so try to leave the beach when 20 minutes are due... so that you warm up a bit. Don't go to early otherwise you get tired!
Once you finish the race, first thing to do, apart from getting interviews because you won, put your warm jacket on, run to the table where you were signing out, and sign in. Otherwise you will be disqualified. Don't waste time talking, go back to the car, get changed into warm clothing. Leave the wetsuit out for drying. Normally it take 3 hours before the second race of the day. So it's get to cold to wait in the wetsuit!
Drink and eat. If you can eat some white rice it's not a bad advice. Try to stay away from junk food! Keep drinking the whole time.
A second race will be called with a second fast skipper meeting of the day. Repeat all you have done in the first race. Sign in and out! Remember. Its for your safety, and for not getting DSQ!
Once the second race is finished, get changed and only after you start de-rigging and putting your equipment away. Check your harness lines, the screws of the straps if they are still tight.
Get a quick appointment with all your friends to go out or meet for dinner! Go back to your apartment, hotel to have a super warm shower and do a lot of stretching. The main stretching to do is for the legs. The best is to put your bum against a wall, and your legs straight against the wall. This way is like you are sitting on the wall. It relaxes your back and the main part of the legs which suffer this long distance. Stretch you calves by standing only with the toes on a step and letting all your weight on them and drop the heel down. Stretch your back muscles as well. Take time for this. It will help you recover faster for the next day. Drink a lot, eat rice, pasta again and sleep more than 8 hours.
We had some people asking us for the parties! Well every night there is a party at the event site. If you are not tired go for an hour, but be home by 11 if you want to be fit for the next day... ! Stay longer only if the forecast is less than 5 knots!
Each day is the same, so follow the routine. Take time during the day to visit the stands, and meet people if there is no wind.
The last day of racing, normally there is only one race instead of 2. In the afternoon there is a great price giving and you can give back your lycra to get back your 35euros.
Next article you will get all the info you need for racing.
When you arrive, we are at the stand. Check the image.
ITA - 1