Nina was lucky enough to take a break during the 4 pm calm; I practiced schlogging my 82 l board with a 4.2 sail instead. But a bit later, the wind finally picked up for good, and the real fun began. By now, the tide was getting low, and the chop started to be better organized, making chop hops and playing with the waves easy. A couple of times, I got the feeling of actually sailing through the air during chop hops, a rather nice feeling. The boom cam video from early runs showed that I still was way too tall during my jumps - here's an example (albeit taking from shortly before the landing):
As we got nearer to low tide at 6 pm, the water got very flat, and it was time to switch to speed runs. The wind kept going up, and my top speed started to creep above 50 kmh (31 mph), which is pretty fast for me. By then, the conditions allowed 600 m long speed runs parallel to the beach in knee- to hip-deep water. I was fully powered on a 4.2, but I decided to see if a larger sail would indeed help me go faster. Since I already had the 5.5 Matrix rigged, I took it for a few runs. It's a very top-end oriented sail, and it did indeed hold up very well in 36 mph average winds, with gusts up to 44 mph. The flat water certainly helped, although the strong onshore winds did whip us some noticeable chop even in the shallows. My averages kept creeping higher, and in a run where I caught a nice gust, my top speed was above 55 kmh - a new record for me. I should have gone for a few more runs to get even faster, but I was starting to get pretty tired. A couple of guys asked me about my sail's size, and apparently doubted my mental sanity when I told them it was 5.5 - I guess that's something a speed surfer has to get used to. I actually did switch back to the 4.2 to see if it would be slower than the 5.5, but got only one run in before my arms started to cramp up, and I decided to call it a day.
While sailing slightly overpowered on the 5.5, I practiced waterstarting in both straps, and got better at it. I usually was fully planing in both straps and the harness within a couple of seconds after starting, which (a) felt great, and (b) made sailing rather effortless. Schlogging the 82 l board definitely was a lot more work! Here are the GPS tracks from the second half of the day:
Here's a short boom cam video from the first session of the day: