Friday, August 23, 2013

Nina's Duck Tack

We'd been looking forward to yesterday for a week - it was the only day with a good wind forecast in a while. When we got to the beach, meter readings hit 25 mph averages, so we rigged 4.5 and 5.3 m sails. Of course, the wind dropped as soon as I started sailing, and I had to switch to a 6.5 and my 110 l Skate. I had enough power to be planing most of the time, but Nina was not so lucky on her 5.3/100 l combo. I saw her planing every now and then, but after a while, she stood at the beach, pouting big time. We did one "final" run out together, just as the wind hit the low for the day, and nobody on the water was planing.

But just as we were ready to give up, I saw more white caps, and most windsurfers on the water got going again. I joined the crowd, and soon was better powered than the entire time before. Nina joined me a few minutes later, and started working on planing duck tacks. Here is a video of Nikita doing one:

Both of us can do the light wind version of the duck tack, which is one of the harder tricks to learn. Nina also had gotten pretty good at going switch while planing - the only thing that was missing was the throw. So she tried it every single time she came in; and tried, and tried again. When my hands started to hurt and I asked her how long she wanted to sail, she said "Until I get a planing duck tack". So we kept sailing until it started getting dark...

Just as I was ready to go in, I saw Nina doing the sail throw part of the duck tack. She is pretty good at this part in light winds, and it showed - the sail went almost all the way down to the water, and then slowly floated back up into her hands. She had just completed her first planing duck tack!

With that, we could stop for the day. Martin, who had also seen her duck tack, could not join us for a little celebration, so we ended up driving home. But tonight, we'll add Nina's first planing duck tack to the things we celebrate when we go out for some nice Japanese food.

My own sailing yesterday was uneventful, as usual. I did try a few Konos with 360 entries early on when the wind was still light, but lost too much speed. Just like 360s in the straps, this is a move where you want to be fully powered or overpowered. Still, my little falls convinced me that the idea is sound (no surprise, since I got it from Andy Brandt). More importantly, they confirmed my suspicion the falls when starting to learn the move will be harmless, or even fun.

I then figured that I should get better at 360s first, and practiced them a bit. I got a couple, which is about twice as good as in most recent sessions, but there is definitely more work that needs to be done. I'm sure a few pointers from the ABK folks at the upcoming Cape Cod camp will straighten me out in no time.

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Yesterday's session was fun, but I got more exited when I noticed that my blog has now reached more than 100,000 page views. With about 250 posts so far, that means every post was read about 400 times. The most-read post, with more than 3,000 page hits, was about the Windsurfing Magazine Board Test two years ago. A newer post that has created a lot of interest, with more than 1,600 page hits since last December, was the "No more cold hands" review of the Ianovated wet suit. Anyone in the area who want to see this suit should come to the East Coast Windsurfing Festival Cape Cod - we will have one of the "tube suits" for our raffle.

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