Monday 11 April 2011

3 hours of waiting, 1 hour of good sailing. 231nmi total

After spending the morning checking the windy tree I decided to head down to the harbour at just after midday. Knowing that the traffic in the town centre would be horrific as usual due to the 14th month of roadworks I took the long route, all the while thinking nice thoughts about the people who were forcing me to waste fuel and money to do so. Half way round the long route I was stuck in some new roadworks. As soon as I can I will be moving from this place now, it takes twice as long to get to the sea due to all the traffic lights.

At the harbour I knew the wind would not be arriving until later in the afternoon so I sorted out some footstraps on my 95l slalom board, then got even more bored so rigged my 6m gator sail and went out on the paddle board for some light wind practice. I have lightwind helitacks, sail body 360's and ducking the rig sorted now. I went in and rigged my biggest sail for a final go, it gets swapped this week for a Tushingham x15 7.6. Back on the paddle board I did some more helitacks and got planing so went to get my bigger windsurfing board, a carve 133l. This is a horrible board to use now, I find it really dull to sail but it was a great board to learn on being easy to use and forgiving.

The wind really picked up so I changed down a board size, keeping the 7.8 north xtype rigged. The starboard kode 112l does not like this sail, it luffs into wind too easily but when powered up its not too bad. The wind had swung right round from south west to west-north-west, meaning I had parked at the wrong end of the harbour.  I went out across the middle a few times, downwind was fun but upwind was really hard work with this sail then the wind dropped off and I headed slowly back to shore. Once back upwind I could see it had picked up a bit but had done enough by this time.

In the past I used this sail more than any other, it has had at least 100hours on the water and probably clocked close to 1000nm if not more. I used to love it, but since getting the x15's I have hardly used it. Now I know why cammed sails are so much better. The power in the sail kept moving around, it felt like it was not rigged correctly but I know it was. The conditions were very gusty and an incoming tide against the wind meant that upwind was uncomfortable and bumpy. It will be a shame to see this sail go, like a well used comfy pair of shoes I feel slightly attached to it but know I have outgrown it now.

In the end a pleasing 20nmi making my total 231nmi.

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