Saturday, September 17, 2011

Duxbury in northeast winds

The fall winds are finally arriving - here is the wind forecast for Duxbury for Sunday September 18, 2011:

Perhaps the numbers do not look very exciting - unless you consider this:

  • The predicted wind direction is northeast.
  • In northeast winds, the last obstruction that the wind saw was in Nova Scotia, Canada - that's a clean fetch of 250 miles!
  • Computer models usually underestimate NE winds in Duxbury - winds are often at least 5 mph stronger than forecast.
  • With the long clear fetch, NE winds in Duxbury tend to be very steady.
  • Duxbury bay is separated from the ocean by a small strip of sand that barely obstructs the wind, which creates very flat water.
  • Duxbury bay is 3 miles long, and the entire length is protected by the sand strip - making it the perfect place for long distance speedsurfing.

Here are GPS tracks from a similar setup last year (9/26/2010):
I set my personal best for 1 hour that day (17.4 knots), even though the wind averages were only 20-22 mph:

My top speed for the day was not great, but I was on a freeride board (Mistral Screamer 116) and a non-cambered sail (Matrix 7.0) that was a bit small for top speed. Gonzalo, who was on a Ray 115 and a 7.5 m race sail, passed me all the time at will, and was probably going 20% faster than I was.

So, flatwater lovers and Fogland Speed Surfers: come to Duxbury tomorrow, Sunday 9/18! Lets set some personal records for long distance and alphas! The other US speedsurfing team, the Speedsters, have just passed us in the monthly ranking. We need only small improvements in the 1 hour averages and alphas to pull even! In the international ranking, we are ranked 46 of 50 teams for the month - it should be pretty easy to move up a few spots! For once, the tides in Duxbury are good, with a low tide of 1.6 ft at 10 am - meaning we can sail all day! I am hoping to get some serious distance tomorrow! Ok, maybe I am fighting a cold right now, but I am sure it will be mostly gone tomorrow, and I should be able to get at least 3 or 4 hours of sailing in. Last year, I sailed 86 km in 3 hours. With better gear (and better jibes) this year, I'll be shooting to break my personal best for distance (111.8 km). I sure hope another Fogland Speed Surfer will back me up so that it counts!

Below is a map that shows the public parking lot just before the Powder Point Bridge where we will launch. Hope to see you tomorrow!

View Duxbury public parking lot in a larger map. If you need directions, use "400 Powder Point Ave, Duxbury, MA" as the target.

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