Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Drive where? Really?

I am spoiled. Live 10 minutes from 2 great speed spots, 15 minutes two others. These four spots cover wind directions from N, NW, NE, E, SW, WSW. Within a 40 minute drive, I have two more speed spots, and several great wave and bump & jump spots. There are so many spots that I have not sailed some of them for many months, if at all.

So why would I possibly consider driving much further - one hour and 15 minutes, according to Google? I'll have to blame the real speedsurfers in Australia. They often drive 10 or 14 hours to go speedsailing on a regular weekend, going back to work Monday morning (perhaps a bit red-eyed and tired). The Dutch speedsurfers would be just as crazy, except that the Netherlands are not big enough to allow for such long drives. So they take long boat trips to spots miles from shore that are sailable only for a couple of hours when the tide is right; or they drive to speed spots like West Kirby in England or La Franqui in France it that's where it is windy. And those are just the semi-serious guys - the real fast guys fly a day to the tip of Africa, drive 1,000 miles through the desert, and then wait in line for an hour to get a shot at the magical 50-knot mark in L├╝deritz.

So maybe driving 75 minutes to a good spot is not that crazy. Especially if the spot holds promise for straight W winds, which tend to be common in the fall around here. Here's what I'm thinking about:
This is Provincetown Harbor. The first thing that caught my interest is the long sandbar. It is about 500 meters long and seems perfect for deep-downwind speed runs. But what looks good on Google Earth sometimes does not work in real life, and the tides in this area are about 10 ft (3 m) - which means the sand bar would be more than 3 meters high at low tide, or be submerged for part of the tide cycle. So we went and checked it out on a nice, windless weekend day.

We never saw the sandbar that prompted the trip, but we ended up walking along the Provincetown Breakwater:

That turned out to be quite promising for speed runs, since it's long, has a couple of bends for sling shots, and is 4 ft or less above the water level at high tide. I created this web page with additional details. Will we sail there? Who knows... Skaket is half-way on the route to Ptown, and lots of fun. But maybe next time we arrive at Skaket and the waves look to crazy in 35 mph wind.

A few more pictures from the walk:

1 comment:

  1. Driving 75 minutes to get to a nice speed spot isn't too bad at all!! The closest for me is about 4 hours!