Monday, July 21, 2014

Nina at Kalmus

I like my GoPro and my Clew-View. But if I use it, it tends to get boring. How interesting can it be watching someone mow the lawn? So I try to get others to use my camera. It seems, though, that my camera is shy. When I gave it to Marty, it worked for about 2 minutes. A few days ago, I gave it to Nina. It worked for about 20 minutes - not bad, but not the 90+ minutes I usually get. Maybe I should really throw out the old battery.

Anyway, while it was a short session, the camera still captured a few things of interest. Here's a short video:

If you wonder about the music - Vimeo has started to use the same copyright detection system that YouTube has been using for years. I happened 2 months ago, but I just discovered it yesterday, when my initial upload was rejected. I replaced it with something free from the Vimeo music store, but the free selection does seem rather limited. Now the main reason to use Vimeo is history.

Back to windsurfing. Nina has been working on the planing duck tack for a long time now (she can do light wind duck tacks all day long). She has not been able to repeat her success from a few months ago, when both Marty and I witnessed her first dry one. The Clew-View video was helpful: it showed that she is not pulling & throwing the clew to the tail of the board. Something to work on..

You may have noticed that I got to use Nina's sail for a while during the session. It's her new Idol 5.0. I love this sail! It feels extremely light in your hands. I kept wondering "why am I planing without any pressure in the sail?". The feeling reminded me of the TR-7 race sail. Both sails seem to convert wind directly into speed, with minimal sideway drag. On the TR-7, it lets you hold on to a bigger sail and go faster; on the Idol, it lets you use a smaller sail to plane early. Quite amazing that a 4-batten non-cam sail can feel as efficient as an 8-batten, 4-cam sail!

On the day shown in the video, I was just barely powered on the Idol, but I loved it. It rotated so nicely in jibes that I finally managed to step lightly. Surprise (not!) - not stomping around keeps the board flat and fast. Feels good, too!

The next day, it got even windier, so I got to use the Idol again. This time, I ended up being fully powered. Wind averages were in the high 20s, gusts in the 30s (mph). The sail still behaved well, especially after I stopped to add some downhaul and outhaul. It seemed as stable as a good 5- or 6-batten sail; but I think it's real strength is at the low end, when it's just big enough to get you going. Even I, the perpetual lawn mower, felt inspired to try things, and might have done a few pops on downwind runs, trying to get enough courage to dip the nose and really go for a Grubby. Maybe next time.

So far, the summer has gotten off to a windy start. We sailed 10 or 11 days in the last three weeks, Nina often on 4.2 or 4.7, and never above 5.0. Tomorrow evening holds some promise for more, and Wednesday looks like it will be another funtastic day, with sunshine and wind in the mid-20s.

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