Sunday, July 21, 2013

Two windy days at Kalmus

Friday and Saturday - two windy days in Kalmus:
Quite a crowd on Friday, 20+ sails on the water at times. Those of us starting shortly after noon got fooled by the wind - probably a decoupling issue, solvable by switching to 7.0 m sails and pumping. By the time the evening winds came, I was tired. Dean, Martin and a couple of others kept going until the sun was down, and still looked fresh when we went out for dinner at Gringo's.

Saturday's computer forecast looked worse, but iWindsurf's meteorologist predicted 20-24 knots for the entire day. Actual winds were even higher at times. Martin and I had an early start; I had to wait for 20 minutes at the gate until they finally opened the Kalmus parking lot at 9:15. I am so looking forward to the end of summer season and parking madness!

My original plan had been to sail all day. That comes natural to Martin, so he was game and put on the GPS I gave hime. But on my first run out, I got hit by one of the 35 mph gusts, just as I was going into a jibe in voodoo chop. My 5.5 m sail was ripped out of my hands, and the board decelerated from 24 mph to 0 in less than a second. I kept going without the board and landed on my back. My head snapped back violently as I hit the water - one of these falls where you are thankful that the neck did not break. However, my neck muscles started hurting quite a bit. Every bump I went over pulled painfully on a couple of neck and shoulder muscles, and bumps we had plenty.

I took a break, stretched, rigged the 4.5, waited, tried again, stretched some more, and eventually, windsurfing became almost painless again. However, I was sailing rather carefully from then on to avoid a repeat, and loop tries definitely were out of the question. During one of the break, I took pictures - here are a few:
Quite a crowd
Keeping the boards on the water was hard
3.2, 3.4, 4.2, 2 unknowns
Freestyle practice in 40 mph gusts

Tail grabs are loop practice, too :-)
You might notice that many pictures feature the same sailor - that's simply because you can bet that he'll do something interesting on every run. Keep the camera on him and click away - there will be good pictures. Martin sailed more than 100 km yesterday, and kept going when I left, still jumping, practicing 360s, duck jibing, and more. All on a 4.7 in the afternoon, in averages that sometimes were above 30. Too lazy to switch to a 4.2 again, but not too lazy for serious old school freestyle. All that despite a forced break and swim when his universal decided he could not take all the abuse anymore and broke into two pieces. Fortunately, Drew was close by and caught the board that was heading downwind at a pretty good speed.

I stopped when my falls started to feel dangerous, and only sailed a bit more than 80 km yesterday. My friend Jonathen, who joined us in the afternoon, ended up a bit worse than I was, almost breaking a rib in a fall onto the boom. That may hurt for weeks, so I feel lucky just having a bit of a neck pain for a day or two.

I have not fully enjoyed my last three sessions, and I am starting to suspect it's because my lovely wife was not able to join me. She recently had some minor surgery that is heeling, and has to stay out of the water a bit longer. When she was still bleeding, I cut my foot and ended up bleeding, too. Yesterday morning, she woke up with a really bad neck ache, and I ended up with a stupid fall that gave me a neck ache, too. Perhaps I should stay off the water until she can sail again - hopefully just a few more days!

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