Sunday, July 17, 2011

Windy days

It's been windy the last 3 days here on Maui, full power on 4.5-5.0 for me, 4.2 for Nina. And that's before the 4 pm, when the wind picked up a notch every day. Wind meter readings were in the mid-20s, with gusts in the low 30s; actual wind on the water was probably 5 mph higher.

Here's a video of Nina sailing yesterday. The first segment shows her working on a hand wash jibe; the second segment shows her coming in a bit later when the wind had picked up a bit:



I have finally gotten myself to try a few 360s, but mostly, I have been working on getting my jibes dry and on staying in control when fully powered in the chop here. With the jibes, I feel like I'm re-learning, and finally have reached the stage where the outside jibes are mostly dry (that is, as long as I am fresh - after an hour or two of sailing, the success rate goes down a lot). Still, much better than not even trying like last year, or falling all the time. However, planing through is still quite rare and mainly a matter of luck in timing the waves. Hopefully, this will improve a bit after a private lesson with Matt Pritchard tomorrow afternoon..

The other thing I have had some fun with is playing in waves. Most days, we get some gentle breaking waves between Sprecks and Camp One. Usually, these waves are perhaps shoulder-high, and the water is deep enough so that there is little chance of gear damage. But for a flatwater sailor like me, it's still plenty to get the adrenaline going, and to get some nice crashes. More often than not, I find myself going for the path between the breaks rather than for jumps when going out. Looking back at the GPS tracks after yesterday sessions, I discovered that this also is the best way for speed runs. The water before and between the breaking waves can be incredibly flat, and going parallel to the waves gives a deep downwind angle for speed runs. The slightly scary thing (besides the waves) is that you are going downwind, away from the launch site - but when fully powered, going back upwind is no issue. Maybe one of these days I'll try this on slalom gear instead of wave gear :)

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