Thank you for your compliment. Yes, exactly; shadow and contrast. I pushed the darks slightly darker and the lights slightly lighter. This photo is part of a story. It was taken on day two of four days of racing. Here's another photo taken a few seconds later, [link] and here's my write up of the event, [link].
What I like about being on the ocean is the alternating hills and valleys. Here, my camera is even with my eyes, which is what?, about 30 inches off the water and the immediate horizon, which is not that far away, is uphill from me.