Thursday, March 1, 2018

Too Much?

We really had planned to not windsurf today. But when the meters show 25 mph wind, and it's sunny and warm, what do you expect from a couple of wind addicts? That they stay home, just because today would be the 12th day of sailing in the last 15 days, and the fourth day in a row? Really?

Of course we went. And had a blast. I started the session by sailing 2.5 km ( 1 1/2 miles) upwind on a 50 degree weed fin. Nina joined me a bit later to work on her Flakas - for once not overpowered, and on a "big" sail (4.7). That's in contrast to yesterday, when she rigged down from 3.7 to 3.4, and was still overpowered. Here are today's GPS tracks:
That was a thoroughly enjoyable session. Easy fun on flat, knee- to hip-deep water. 

Yesterday was a different story. The forecast had predicted what we got today - 22 mph, but from the south instead of the north. On sunny days, the wind always seems to come in a lot stronger than predicted, and yesterday was no exception. We rigged in 26 mph wind, but then got almost blown off the water when it increased to 32 mph gusting to 40. At least that's what the meters said. But at other spots, Nina would have been perfectly happy on a 3.4.  Of course, she looked good:
But she was so powered on the 3.4 that she aborted many Flaka attempts - even going far downwind was not enough to dump the power in the sail. After hearing her state that she was overpowered, I felt a bit better about my problems to control my 5.6 m race sail. I was on my small board (a 72 l speed board), and I had expected to get some nice nautical mile runs in - but even before the wind really picked up, I never felt in control for more than a few hundred meters, usually in the flattest sections and in lulls. My inner chicken simply did not want to risk any big stacks at 30 knots a mile or two from the launch. In my defense, the water level was a bit higher, which increased the chop and made it slightly more chaotic. 

So the IC sent me to look for some flat water, and I explored an area that I had not ventured to before: Pita Island. Just behind the island, I found a couple of hundred meters of perfectly flat water:
The speed strip is quite short, but you can enter it with a flying start, and you can probably sail onwards after it. The water still is quite flat, but there is a sandbar under water that may make it a bit too shallow. I only did a couple of runs there, and then returned back to the launch, since this spot is more than a kilometer away, and I was not sure if Nina could see me there. Sometimes, people get worried unnecessarily when they see me walk around to check the water depth... but I admit that I was a bit tired by then. Even with just two runs, this ended up being my 4th-fastest session ever, with a 2 second speed of 32.5 knots. I'm sure I'll re-visit this spot in the future!

The day before that had been similar, but different. The wind also came in almost 10 miles higher than predicted, but only to the mid-20s with gusts in the low 30s. With a less wind and a lower water level, the chop was small and nice, perfect for trying to improve my personal best (PB) for 1 hour average speed. During the second half of the hour, the wind had increased, and holding on to the 6.3 on the  Falcon 99 was quite entertaining, but well worth it - I improved my PB by 1.5 knots, to 24.14 knots. Here are the tracks:
Runs were between 3.5 and 4.5 km long. The darker green region on the right was very smooth, the region on a left required a bit more attention. Afterwards, we went to the Lazy Beach Brewing Company to celebrate, which has become one of our favorite watering holes. Nina's expression shows what she thinks about the place:

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