Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flat and flatter

We went windsurfing in Fogland yesterday and had a blast. We love Fogland because the little bay is protected by a sandbar and shallow, so you get nice flat water. Runs are only about 500 m (1/4 mile) long, but that's plenty for freestyle, which Nina did yesterday. I like Fogland to try new gear, and took my newest board out for the first time: Little Black Beauty, an Exocet SL66, 105 l, that I recently bought used. Here is a short boom cam video:

After spending most of my time recently on freestyle boards, it will take a couple of sessions to get used to the outboard foot straps, and to get everything dialed in. Still, the board was a lot of fun to sail, and made it really easy to plane through jibes. If you look closely at the video, you'll see plenty of things I do wrong (e.g. bending the front arm); but the board just ignored the driver mistakes and stayed fast. I planed through my second jibe, which I found quite amazing; I might have planed through the first one, except that the wind was a bit too holey on the other shore.

One reason I am posting the video is to compare how flat the water is in Fogland to how flat it is in one of the best long distance speed sailing spots, Lake George in Australia. In the past couple of months, several GPS Team Challenge teams from Australia reported 40-45 knot runs by multiple team members from this location, and many nautical mile averages in the high 30s to low 40s. That's just amazing - until you watch a video that shows just how flat the water there can be:

Well worth a long drive - it's not unusual for the Australian speed surfers to drive there 6 hours, sail for 5 hours, and drive back 6 hours. But really dedicated speed sailors like Spotty even drive 39 hours and 2560 km (1600 miles) for a few sessions!

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