Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Perfect Speed Strip?

At least one of our local speed surfers puts the blame on our lack of great speeds onto the speed strips we are using. Certainly, none of our local strips compares to spots like Sandy Point in Australia, where the wind blows across a nicely curved sand bar, with perfectly flat water right behind it.

We have been looking for similar spots in the area. Nina and I spend the afternoon walking out to a big sand bar in Cape Cod Bay that had a promising stretch of water on the inside. Perhaps the spot has some potential, but it is far from ideal. It is a long walk from the beach, maybe 30 minutes without gear; the sand bar drops of very gradually; and it will be useful only in a narrow tidal range.

One of my favorite spots for speed around here are little reef islands in Duxbury bay. In the right wind direction, the water behind the islands is perfectly flat, and the islands are low enough so that they do not disturb the wind too much. Alas, "Long Island" in Duxbury Bay is only 200 meters long, and the chop increases rapidly one past the island. We'd need something at least 2-3 times this long, so the search continues.

In the last 2 weeks, we have done a bit of driving around on Cape Cod. Today, we checked out the bay behind Nauset and Coast Guard Beach. From the town landing we stopped at, the grass islands in the middle of the bay looked very similar to the ones in Duxbury - just bigger! Going back to Google Earth, I found one spot that looks just about perfect for speed runs in NE winds:
The strip in the image above is 1000 meters long, and nicely curved for sling shots. It should work in NNE and NE winds, perhaps going up in NE and down in NNE. The fetch looks pretty good: the nearest dunes are more than one kilometer to the NE, and they are less than 20 feet tall (not nearly as tall as the area at the nearby Coast Guard Beach or Nauset Beach). A public town landing is close enough to reach the strip with a 10 minute walk and short sail. Definitely something worth trying out! Maybe next Wednesday - the forecast predicts NE winds in the mid-20s. Some long stretches of chitter-chatter water would be lovely...

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