Friday, November 25, 2016

New Loop Instruction Video

Here's a new loop instruction video:

It's very similar to most of what Andy Brandt teaches, but adds a few explanations that make a lot of sense. I especially like his explanation of "tall - small - tall":

  • get tall first, lifting up on the boom, to get the nose up
  • once the board is on the air, get small by pulling yourself up on the boom, and pulling the back leg up, to rotate
  • finally, get tall again to stop the rotation before the landing
Unfortunately, one critical piece of advice is missing in this video: how to grow a pair and go for it ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Bay!

It was my bay today. Mine alone. My precious!

It's been windy 3 days in a row now. I sat out yesterday because of colds - Nina was fighting one, and the temperatures had dropped into the low 30s. After balmy almost-50 degrees the day before, that was too cold. But today was sunny. And the wind had turned from west to northwest, a much better direction. And it was warmer - above 40ºF! That's 5ºC, for you Europeans and  Australians. That counts as warm now. You just need to dress appropriately.
Ianovated wetsuits rule! 

Nina was feeling much better than the day before, but not 100% yet, so she figured a walk on the beach would be a better idea than windsurfing today. That meant I had the whole bay for myself! Not even a kiter, seal, or shark in sight! On a sunny day, with wind in the mid-20s! Fine by me - more little waves for me to play with. Nina took a few pictures:

At low tide, the walk to the water can be a bit long on the Cape Cod Bay side:

Being too lazy for a long walk, I started my session late, and from Ellis Landing in Brewster instead of Skaket Beach in Orleans.  The sun goes down at 4:15, which kept the session short - but it sure was worth it!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November Crowds

Today at Kalmus in 45ºF weather and 30+ mph wind:

Nice to see so many sails on the water this late in November!
Team Ianovated was well represented. The tough girl did not need mittens or gloves. The two smart guys used their tubes to keep their hands warm in their open palm mittens. The guy without tubes was smiling because he saw a jacuzzi session in his near future to warm up :-).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cold Makes Warm

In the last couple of weeks, I've often been cold at home, and had no clue why. The heat was working, the thermostat set plenty high, even outside temperatures were reasonable (around or above 50ºF, 10ºC). But my hands and feet would always get cold, and eventually the chill would spread to my entire body.

Today, I discovered the cause: lack of cold weather windsurfing! The last windsurfing session 9 days ago - too long a break! But today, we had a lovely little east wind in the low-to-mid 20 mph range come in, so I just had to go windsurfing at East Bay in Osterville - a tiny little bay that allows only 500-600 m long runs, but very flat water for jibes at both ends. Sure, it rained, but that's not a reason to stay home (except for Nina). It was also warm - 55ºF (13ºC).

Considering the temperatures, I overdressed: 4.5 mm semidry, long polypropylene shirt underneath, impact west on top, 5 mm booties, neoprene hood, and Ianovated open-palm mittens. Late fall is speed time, which also means that I rarely fall, so I started to overheat after just a few minutes on the water. Fun! That gave me an excuse to sometimes crash "on purpose", and at other times to just stop and get off the board, supposedly to check the speed for the last run on my GPS. Feeling hot, hot, hot...

When the wind picked up a bit, I took a little break and rigged down from a 7.5 m freeride sail to a 7.0 m race sail. Usually, that's a pretty safe recipe to stop me from planing out of jibes, but that failed today - it was just too flat, and the wind was too steady, since the "super moon" high tide made the windward sand spit almost disappear. Going into a jibe at full speed in perfectly flat water is one of the best feelings in windsurfing, and thanks to the short runs, I got to do that a lot. Fun! But eventually, the rain picked up to a level where it got really hard to see anything on the water, so I kept the session short. It's been a few hours by now, and I'm still warm! Playing out in the cold  makes warm. Cool.

Here are today's GPS tracks:
No great speeds, I did not even get 30 knots. But according to the Kalmus meter, wind averages were only 20 knots, with gusts usually staying below 25 knots, so I'm happy enough with 29 knots top speed. Maybe I could have gone a bit faster if I had seen more...

Friday, November 4, 2016

Another Great Hatteras Trip

We're back from Hatteras. It took a few days longer than planned - last Monday was the only day with planing winds all day long. We just had to stay - Nina needed to get that trick she was working on (and she did - more about it some other time), and I needed to do a bit of distance sailing to improve our GPS Team Challenge ranking for the month. It was a great day. Many thanks to the lovely Lisa for inviting us to stay at her house!

The wind this year was weird. We had only light wind for the entire 5-day ABK camp, which was a first. Fine by me, I love light wind freestyle! I worked a bit on my Jawbreakers and rail rides, and finally got the duck entry into Back-2-Back, so I was happy. The wind arrived for the weekend after the camp, which we spent at the W.E.T. Fall Regatta at Kashy's place. Two fantastic days of slalom racing (7.0 day 1, then 8.5 day 2), some GPS racing, and a couple of distance races. When we went to races there before, some of the top slalom sailors in the US (like Jesper and Chris) had shown up, so both Nina and I opted to compete in the "Intermediate" rather than the "Pro" races. Nina beat most guys, almost always coming in 2nd; she did manage to beat me in one of the races to come in first, when I got a bit distracted by the guy who was walking his gear right in my way to the finish line. I also managed to get a DNF in the first race, since I forgot which buoy marked the finish line. But fortunately, we had one discard, so I managed to place ahead of Nina. Close call! Lucky for me, she does not practice slalom sailing a lot. Here are a couple of pictures from the races:

During our second week in Waves, we had four more planing days, mostly on bigger sails. We were lazy this year, always sailing right in front of our house instead of driving to other spots. Apparently, it would have been worth to make the trip to the Canadian Hole on north wind days: Bart reported that it was much flatter there than in Waves, and much windier than the nearest iWindsurf meters showed. Maybe next year...