Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Windsurfers are used to being fooled - usually by the wind forecast. It's either too low or too high, but rarely accurate. Since we'd rather be planing at just the right size gear, some of us rely heavily on the all-knowing internet, and even pay yearly fees to see more wind meters.

The image below tells the story of today:
The forecast had predicted decent wind (19 mph) until 10 am, and then a quick drop. After two weeks with little wind, we got excited enough to sleep poorly and get up early. But when we looked at the Corpus Christi wind meter readings (at the top left of the image), it showed only 10 mph, soon dropping even lower. Most of the other meters had similar readings, except for two. Those two, however, were clear outliers, and at spots where we never sailed before. They both showed averages close to 20 mph.

Believing the meters from the spots we knew well, we stayed home .. at least until the trees in front of the condo started swaying in the wind. By then, the "regular" wind meters approached 15 mph. We got to the water around 9:30, and yes, there were plenty of whitecaps. Nina soon took off on the 6.3/89 combo, I followed her on 112/7.8. We both used MUF Delta fins since the water was very shallow at the launch, and also near the islands that we wanted to sail close to for flat water.

The water was indeed flat, but the wind was too northerly to allow speed runs along the skinny island that Nina named "Turtle Island" after encountering a turtle on a previous light wind scouting trip. We had 45 minutes of fun until the wind turned even more northerly, which made finding a path between the islands and shallows hard. Fortunately, the wind also dropped below planing threshold at the same time, so it was time to call it a day, anyway.

In the roughly two weeks since we arrived in Corpus Christi, we've managed to get out on the water 8 times. But that includes one light wind scouting session and four foil sessions (for me - Nina managed to plane on our largest slalom gear on 3 of the 4 foil days). The three slalom sessions were on big gear (7.0 - 7.8, 99 - 112 l), and mostly cut short because the wind dropped, and/or lightly powered. But it was warm enough to never require a hood or gloves, and often sunny, so there's not really a reason to complain. However, bringing a toy like the foil for the lighter days was definitely a good idea.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

GPS Team Challenge 2019

In my recent review of 2019, I did not mention the GPS Team Challenge results for the year - but they deserve mentioning. In the international ranking, our "United Speedsailors of America" team came in 20th among 57 competing teams.

That's our best rank since the team was formed by combining a few smaller teams from all over the USA. One thing that helped the team improve over previous years was that more windsurfers contributed to the monthly scores (where the best results from 2 windsurfers on the same day are ranked against all other teams in 6 categories). We had 10 team members collection the coveted "jelly beans" - definitely a team effort!

There's also a bit of friendly competition within the team, and the GPSTC web site shows individual rankings for the year. Thanks to our fantastic trip to Australia and a nice long distance session in Hatteras, I was able to improve my personal bests (PBs) in all 6 categories in 2019. But that still was not enough to beat Boro in the US rankings for the year:

But I got a couple of first places, and second places in the four other categories, so I'm quite happy with that - especially considering that quite a few of the windsurfers further down in the rankings are much better speedsurfers than I am!

The lovely Nina also improved all her PBs in 2019, which included reclaiming the (unofficial) women's world record for distance. She also got the #2 spot for the most technical speed category, alpha 500 (speed over 500 meters with a jibe in the middle), and #3 and 4 spots in all other categories, with 29 women from all over the world competing in 2019:

That gave her the #1 spot in the yearly overall rankings! While the competition for second to sixth place was close (29 to 33 points), her 16-points total separated her nicely from the other women. Congratulations!