Thursday 9 June 2011

Couple of great after work sessions, only 31nmi logged though

Tuesday 7th June was the day I closed the gap and realised how much good the 100+nmi had done for my sailing. I was only a few knots off the best by the end of the session. I used my trusty Tushingham X15 7m that had been repaired, after a bit of grumbling the sail woke up again and delivered like it used to, by staying stable in big gusts and light and effortless in the lulls. I used it on my Mistral RD slalom board with a small fin - Select Caspar elite 31cm.

I was being taunted by Pete who had decided to shower me with every head on run, and when we were on the same tack he teased me and stole my wind so I bore off. Then he followed, I bore off some more, he followed and pushed me even further until we were at least 140degrees off the wind. This was a big learning point for me as it allowed me to see his technique, cheers Pete! I then saw what I was doing wrong, I was trying to keep the gap closed as I bore off which I never used to do. So I opened up my sail and carried on accelerating..........

It took me about half an hour to get back upwind though! Once there with a rising tide and a small fin I could get reasonably close to the shore and did some speed runs, getting regularly over 30 and close to 31. I told Pete I had 31 (rounded up) and he said thats not 31 then! So the next run I really went for it and got 31.88, close to my personal best in a lot less wind! It was a great session with a good 31nm clocked giving me a new total of 650nm.

On Wednesday it was windier and the tide was even better with it being neaps. I rigged a smaller sail and tuned it perfectly with an even smaller fin and the same board. Went to turn on my GPS and it wouldnt work so I assumed I had left it on somehow overnight and it had discharged. I put it on charge in the van and went to get a coffee thinking I would save my energy while the tide rose. Within 10 minutes I was impatient so went to check it, unplugged it and it turned off again. Something was wrong. I tried and tried to turn it on but it wouldnt unless it was plugged in to charge.

I went out without the GPS and did some of my best ever gybes, planing round my old flatmate (an ambition of mine for quite a while) at full speed. I had some really good runs but no GPS to prove it. Still it was good practice and a new one hopefully will be delivered tomorrow thanks to RIKS online shop. I will try to get the old one repaired as a spare, I have tried allsorts myself but cannot get it to work. I will have covered at least 20nmi but will not include it in my challenge as I have no proof..........but if we get a bad wind drought I may have to call on it along with my SUP sessions I have hidden away for backup.

Today (Thursday) there was wind but it was not forecast, I had all my kit apart from my fin quiver and full wetsuit. There is a shorty in the van for emergency which I could have used along with a 42cm fin, but I decided to save my energy for the next long session with a GPS.

Total 650nmi.

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