Monday, 20 September 2010

My Whole Body Aches

What a day yesterday, so good I couldn't even type last night.
I got to Portland harbour at about 830am, got a nice place in the car park next to the pebbly rigging area and close to the sea. I had a feeling it would be busy, with a few people already there, all waiting for the wind to build. It was already around 20knots, I drank my coffee while rigging my X15 speed sail and starboard kode 112l for a bit of float. I was hoping the wind would build a bit but stayed pretty constant, went out on the water for my first 25nm of the day. 
The first few runs were a bit frustrating, it was a new sail and the cams were sticking in the second batten, which was a bit too far away to get my knee into to rotate. I set it so it was full on the downwind tack and flat on the upwind, I thought even if it didnt rotate I could make the most of it.

When I came in I let off some downhaul to get planing a bit earlier, it worked a treat. The GPS was building up to 50nm when the fin span out for the umpteenth time, I will never use this fin again now as it wont control over 25/26 knots even when the back foot is not powering it up from the side. The nose caught in some chop as I tried to correct the spin, I went over the boom worrying about the new sail and heard a crack. Everything seemed ok, I flipped the sail and set off back the other way, gybed hooked in and heard another crack. This had happened to the boom

I was gutted! Just under 50nm, Norman Petty was overtaking my score while I sat on the beach more worried about not helping him with the team effort than about the cost of the carbon that was now useless. Looking at it I thought perhaps I could layer some more carbon over it and fix it at home. A quick call to Windtek and Nick said he would lend me one for the day, the next problem was getting it. He said to wait 20mins and he would ask someone who came in the shop to drop it off (I couldnt lose my front row space, and didnt want to derig, get changed and waste so much time). 



Twenty minutes passed with a coffee from the shop on the carpark. Just as I was about to give up, a couple of locals drove into the car park so I went begging for help.

Warren and Lynn said they would pop up to the shop for me so a big, no huge thankyou to them. They came back with the boom, I changed it which is no easy task on a rigged cammed sail I found. As I took the old one off this happened - see pic.

I do not think it is repairable now!

The first half hour on the new boom wore my arms out. It was a different shape and different grip, Nick had lent me a brand new Prolimit Hybrid Slalom boom with monocoque front end, it all felt weird, my harness lines would not take my weight.

I came in and adjusted it all, still only at 55nm. I also got the new slalom board out. WOW it is fast and easy through the chop, but also hard work to ride for the first time. I did not realise the wind was still at 20knots, I thought it had picked up. Portland Harbour often has a fuller wind in its south-west corner near the sailing academy, in this sort of wind it can be lighter near Ferrybridge where we launched for the day. I did about 10 more miles on this board and changed back to the kode for more float and less effort. I was tired by this point.

After another quick break I forced myself out for 10 more miles, and made my fastest runs, mile and alpha speeds in the final couple of runs. All the Kiteys had gone so there were cleaner runs and flatter water. Some of them were a real problem for most of the day, turning without looking and not giving way to starboard where we have to get upwind. They take up so much space, especially when they turn and drop the kite in the water! A few were nearly hit by me, as its quite hard to change course at 27knots, when they stop and turn without looking you have 2 seconds before hitting them! There were also a few windsurfers who cannot look around before turning, I guess these are the same people who do not understand the round bit of roundabout!

My GPS read 73nautical miles as I returned to pack up. Norm was at 90! He decided to get to 100 and went back out. He is a machine, I must also add that he is retired and possibly the fittest surfer out there, the definition of Legend. If I can be half that good at his age then I will be a happy and healthy man!

The official results are here on the GPS Team Challenge site. I am over the moon that in my first month with the team I can offer some of the score to keep us near the top for September. It will now get harder, as next time I must beat 73nm.

Big thanks have to go to Nick at Windtek for his generosity, Warren and Lynn for sacrificing 20mins of water time to pick up the Boom, and Pete and Norm for their support though the day. I went into Windtek today and bought the boom for a discounted price as it was used after all ;-) I traded in two redundant fins as well.

2 comments:

  1. Now I have read to here, this challenge makes more sense. You will do it in no time at all with distances like that in a day. I never know how far I sail, probably less than 5 miles each time I go out.

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  2. Thank you for the comment. It can take a couple of years, or 50+ sessions before you become confident to cruise around a lot, I guess from your other messages that you have not sailed much yet.
    If there is 15 good weekend days then yes the challenge will be easy, but I work and cant just sail whenever I want and the wind does not just blow when its the weekend. I am hoping to get 5 or 6 days like this to make up half the distance.

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