The JP slalom team had a great week of testing and racing at Lake Garda. Micah Buzianis US-34 reports:
I just came back to Maui after a week in Lake Garda for some testing on the new slalom and Formula boards with Werner Gnigler and Malte Reuscher ITA-7777. We scored with perfect weather and perfect conditions to get all the boards tested. We even managed to squeeze in the weekend One Hour Classic race while we were there. And to top it all off I got to eat some of the best food on the planet in the Torbole area.
After a week of very light wind racing in Costa Brava my plan was to fly to Fuerte for a couple of hours and drop off all my racing gear so it would be there waiting for me and so I wouldn’t have to travel back and forth to Maui with it. After a quick trip from Barcelona to Fuerte I flew back to Munich for a night and then jumped on the train to Innsbruck to meet up with Werner and his family and head to Lake Garda for the weekend. I spent a very nice day touring around Innsbruck and we headed to Garda early on Wednesday morning. I was pretty tired from all the moving around but the wind and beauty of Garda woke me up straight away and Malte and I were right out on the water in perfect conditions to test the new medium sized board. In the afternoon the wind dropped just enough to take out the new big slalom board and get this tested. With some solid test results in the bag a proper Italian dinner was in order and it was sure nice to have some good Italian food!!!
The next day the wind was perfect again and we had a day of Formula testing, with four different boards to test we needed almost the whole day. In perfect Garda fashion the wind slowly died all day and we were able to get a good wind range on all the boards and were able to finish the testing. So with two days in the bag and pretty much all the testing done we could play around with some minor details and move on and focus on the race. There were a lot of people coming in from out of town as well so I was able to again meet some new and very nice people as well as meet up with some old friends from the area.
Friday the wind and weather was a bit fickle, we did get out on the water a bit but was sitting around waiting at the Conca D‘Oro and Shaka surf center most of the day. Which was also nice as they have a very good set up there with good food and good coffees!! While I keep mentioning the food, which I really really like in Garda I can’t not mention the place we stayed and the best breakfast of anywhere I travel to the Hotel Santoni. As much as I enjoy visiting Garda having the Hotel Santoni to stay at and Fabio taking such good care of us makes it a whole lot better!!!
On to the weekend and the One Hour. Saturday was not forecasted to have much if any wind but Garda is hard to call and with everyone calling no wind and the weather looking awfully cloudy it was looking like we wouldn’t race. But as soon as you call no wind then of course it does just the opposite and while it didn’t exactly get really windy it was enough to start the race. I was on my 9.6 and 85 wide JP board while Malte and Werner opted for their 8.6’s and 85’s. This turned out to be the right call for me as I was very powered in the beginning of the race but as the hour ticked on the wind dropped slowly and I was one of the only guys in the end that had enough power to plane pretty much the whole race. For most of the hour I was fighting back in about sixth place but as the hour finally wound down I was able to catch up a few places to finish what I thought was in fourth but then I found out they had stopped the race early at about 51 minutes when I was in sixth. But I also found out that it wouldn’t count if there was wind on Sunday as they had stopped it early. Malte had done well and had finished second but he had to wait overnight to see what the weather would do for the last day.
Sunday looked like it was going to be a classic Garda day, it started out cloudy early but the sun burned off all the clouds and by lunch time the wind was there. It was looking like it was going to be a windy one and after a long dry One Hour the day before I wasn’t sure what sail size to go with. In the end it was Andy from JP who told me go big and I decided to listen to him, it was a good choice but a hard one. The start was very light and I was glad to have the 9.6 and my 85 JP otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten planing but by the first mark I was fighting that big sail. But it paid off as I was first out of the first mark and lead for the first two laps before being passed by Matteo who was looking very comfortable and eventually won the race. Back in second I had Malte who was on his 8.6 and 85 JP and Antoine on my heels. I held them off for another four or five laps but Antoine was just too comfortable on his 9.2 and finally caught me after passing Malte. So I had slipped down to third and had to hold off Malte for about four laps if I wanted to stay on the podium. He would catch up to me on the straight line but I was able to get planing quicker than he could out of the turns so I was just able to hold him off at the end and finish in third. I was very tired and very thirsty after a long hard fight and very dry race. Malte was happy with his race but also bummed that he just missed out on a podium finish.
It was a great time in Garda, after seven long years of not making the stop I am very glad that we made this plan to do some JP testing there. It is a great place for sailing but just a great place to visit and hang out with old and new friends. I hope it isn’t this long before I get back there again!! Thanks a lot to Werner and his family for taking care of me!! Also a big thanks to Andrea for taking care of use while in Garda, Thanks to Fabio and Lara and Hotel Santoni, Thanks to JP for organizing the trip and big thanks to my blah blah car ride mates that got me to the airport in Milan safe and on time!!!