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Friday, September 24, 2010
Kirkland's Training in Santa Cruz

After a couple days of seemingly endless frustration, yesterday brothers Jesse and Zander Kirkland were able to make the most of the wavy and windy conditions and without any breakdowns! It was another beautiful day in Santa Cruz with the standard Northwesterly filling in around midday.

Zander Kirkland said, “We were able to make some good headway in the difficult conditions of 15-20+knots, combined with a groundswell mixed with the wind swell.”

“The drill of sailing round a windward leeward course for the day was simple in theory, but provides many challenges in practice! The breeze isn't the biggest problem in this kind of sailing, it’s the massive waves. With these big waves rolling through the courses, challenges can be met both in the upwind and downwind. Upwind, keeping the boat level through the troughs and peaks of the seas, as well as keeping yourself balanced on the wing as you get some air are the main concerns. Not surprinsingly, bearaways prove to be little more difficult in this stuff as well because of the concern of plowing into the backside of wave and pitch poling in the most powered up angle to the breeze! On the downwinds, keeping the bow out of the upcoming waves is priority number one as one slipup and your over! Also, when it comes to gybing, timing is essential because you dont want to be crossing the boat as the bow stuffs into a wave,” said Jesse Kirkland.

“So, all in all, a much better day, we were able to identify some points to work on, and we also tried some new things. One particularly was Zander trimming the mainsheet for the bearaways instead of me. We found this to be beneficial as he has more ability to trim in and out through the larger sea state- will work more with this,” concluded Zander Kirkland.
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