Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just a little bit further...

Go ahead, click on that picture. That's BP, slogging out on his smallest slalom board (my guess is about 75 liters) and 5.4. And it's not an optical illusion - he really is in the water up to his butt. At this point, he's been at it for about 7 or 8 minutes, displaying good balance, a fair bit of determination, and good slogging technique. This was taken Sunday, and while there was a lot of moaning at New Beach (the launch to the west of the Event Site, which was closed to windsurfers for a charity kiteboarding and SUP event) because of how the wind had died, it was still going off up at the Hatchery; in fact, Bruce was on a full plane about one minute later in, and wasn't seen until riding a lucky puff back down from up there well over an hour later.

I sailed for about 4 hours on Saturday in multiple sessions on my 6.2, slowly growing my high-wind slalom cojones back (I was still a bit sketched out after breaking my ankle last summer in those conditions). The wind meter at Swell City read 20-40, and that about summarizes the conditions pretty well - up at the Red Nunn off the Hatchery, there was never a moment where I wouldn't plane, but there were plenty of moments of holding on for dear life. Slalom sailing in rough water and big winds can be character building, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. What's more, there were those sweet patches of smooth water for hero jibes right above Wells Island on the OR shore, as well as the occasional well-formed swell that would make for beautiful mach-speed broad reaches starboard tack from Wells Island all the way back to the launch.

All in all a great day of sailing; can't wait to do it again soon. Things are getting pretty jam-packed here in the next few weeks - junior clinic on Friday, Gorge Cup on Saturday, then Nationals in SF next week. Looks like summer is finally here ;)

1 comment:

Igor said...

In the February issue of Boards(UK) magazine, windsurfers of various weight tried to uphaul a 4.5 sail in no wind on boards of various volumes. The goal was to determine the minimum board volume that allows to uphaul the sail depending on the weight of the windsurfer.
Surprisingly, every tester (the heaviest was 220 lbs) was able to uphaul the sail on a 63 liters speed board.
This is because the deeper the board sinks, the more body is underwater. Since the body has approximately the same density as water, everything underwater is virtually weightless.
So as illustrated by BP on this pic, don't be afraid of letting the board sink: it actually stabilizes the kit.
Of course, things get a little more complicated in the Gorge chop when the wind dies down to irregular, lame puffs :((