Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Freeman Hammerton Leete Speed Ladder (FHLSL)

The FHLSL is a bit of family fun which will be run between Chris (Bahrain/Maui) Andrew (UK) and Tom (Maui) in the first instance. With all three riders currently in different locations it will be interesting to see how different conditions will affect the times.

The fastest rider will be the holder of the glass trophey. Tom is currently the fastest but Andy has got some new gear and the possibility of nuclear winds and flat water, Chris is currently without any speed gear but with an abundance of flat water in Bahrain and Tom based in Maui has both wind and waves but not much in the way of flat at the moment.

Tom's current best 100m speed is 37.3 knots
Chris's current best 100m speed is 33.2 knots
Andrew's current best 100m speed is 27.52 knots (which was recorded on a late in Kent with an 8.5m)
Pics and more details to follow...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Project Kite - Up Up & Away

The last day of term before the winter break and a slightly earlier finish than normal meant that Carl and I had a window of opportunity to get his kite up in the air. Since last posting about the hole in Carl's kite he's been home to South Africa and hooked up with a friend who gave him a lesson and got him on the right track.

With about 8 knots of wind we rushed to the beach with his 14m to see if we could have better luck than last time. It took us a while to detangle the lines, I guess that is something that you get better at with practice but finally got it sorted and all attached.

One final check and and few instructions from Carl and it was time to launch. As the kite filled with power Carl gracefully manouvered the kite up and then back down to land a few times then as his confidence build he worked the kite into the 12 O'clock position. There were a few mishaps but generally all was good.

I put my hands on the bar as Carl controlled to get some feeling of the kite although I am not sure if it was my fault that brought the kite down!

A couple more contolled flights and Carl got lifted by a gust which must offically go down as his first kite flight - although he flies Airbusses for a living so he is used to being in the air! Affter a slight bump, short drag and run to catch the kite we noticed a slight ding on the leading edge and had to call it a day. Those patches I bought are going to come in useful.

Overall a great fun session which represented a big stride forward for Project Kite.

More to follow...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Project Kite

Since I last wrote about kites not much has happened on that front. Then last week after weeks of no wind I thought that I should step it up a bit and do somethng about it so I decided to learn to kite so that I am on the water a bit more. Rather than spend lots of hard earned cash - which needs to go on new windsurf gear I thought that it would make it interesting to see how cheaply I could get myself set up to kite. Watch out ebay!

So what do I need?
  1. 14m kite to suit Bahrains frequent 8-13 knots
  2. Bar and lines
  3. Board
  4. Boots - sharp rocks and glass are the norm
Step 1 find a kite - sorted! £61.23


 Step 2 Kite came without bar so find a bar and lines. Not sure what bar to get but seems that the North 5th Element bar is good.... sorted!

North 5th element 5 line bar £50 plus £10 P&P

Every kite needs a pump - £24.99

After the holes put in Carl's kite I think that a few DIY pactches are in order.

At only £3.50 a complete bargain.

That just leaves a board. I have been looking and am trying to keep the budget at under £150. There have been a few about on ebay but nothing perfect, looking for a 2007-2008 132-134cm board for under £150. Fingers crossed one will turn up in time.

So a total spend of £156.72 so far.

More to follow...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Will it ever be windy again?

20 second period, huge swell on the way for Maui but nothing here! Has been a rather quiet month with no wind or action to speak of.

The Formula 2 World Powerboat racing did come to Amwaj which was interesting, the only problem is as crowds (ok some people) lined the shoreline not all of the boats had made it through customs and the race was delayed until everyone had gone back to work the next day.

So it is fingers crossed for some wind before the water gets cold - not that it ever gets that cold but full suit is the norm for Jan-Mar.

More to follow...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Windless Bahrain

Well another week passes without wind and the windfinder forecast show none on the way... Time for SUP

Umm I don't have a SUP! On the plus side my foot is much better and have been back in the gym and running a bit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wind, Water, Dredgers and Sharp Rocks

After what was starting to feel like an age since it had been windy, my friend even asked the other day if I still windsurfed, I had to pause for a second before answering as I knew that I had not been back on the water since arriving back in the Gulf.

Despite not too much wind it was great to be on the water with lovely 35C air and 30C water.

Lots of boats around at the moment and spent much of my time weaving between the Noon Island pictured above (a 106 m dredger) and its sister ship Reem Island which were both at anchor. Its always a little odd being so close to such huge ships, they are fine so long as they are not moving but when they are coming in or setting off to sea it can be rather interesting!

Gutted that on the way back to shore I snagged my foot on a rock and I think I now only have 4 1/2 toes on my right foot, anyway looks like I will have to be out of the water and off running for a few days.

More will follow

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bird Island Crossing - The Planning

The plan is fairly simple, race from Amwaj to Bird Island. The race should be open to kiters and windsurfers and run when it is windy and warm with a holding period of April to June 2010. We will need a fair bit of boat and jetski backup for sure. Once there camp on the island and have the mother of all parties.... The island is small but perfect for camping.  
If there is enough wind there should be some ramps to jump throughout the channel and on the reef surrounding the island which is about 7 miles from the coast and probably 20 from Amwaj. I have sailed at Bird Island once before earlier in the year when my friend and I took gear over on the wakeboard boat and launched off the side.
Now the concept has been put in place it is time to research, plan and publisise the event.
Beautifully warm crystal waters are waiting...
Out for now...

Windless Bahrain

Well things have been rather quiet here in the Gulf this past couple of week at least on the water front. Work has been crazy (as ever) and the onset of Swine Flu means that we are currently banned from leaving the island and I am not in work - which might sound good but I'd actually rather be working because we have to make the days up later in the year.

So what do you do in Bahrain when there is no work and its Ramadan? Well most people drink themselves silly, not us. We are lucky to have a good gym and beach club next to our house so we have been spending plenty of time in the pool and in the gym.

Fingers are crossed that the swine flu restictions ease as we are itching to go on a trip and fingers and toes crossed for some wind... it has cooled down to 105 during the day and 90 at night so thats not bad.

More soon...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How hard can it be to fly a kite?

10 knots of wind picked up this afternoon as promised by Windfinfer which was perfect for my friend who has just taken up kiting and I have been helping (or more like hindering I am sure) him this afternoon. Who needs lessons? Well aparently US! All was going well, we managed to set up the kite, Carl almost got the kite flying but we tried to launch too far downwind and and as the leading edge dragged on the rocky ground it ran over a piece of wood with a lovely nail sticking out of it! Now his kite needs a repair, luckily that seems cheap enough as I found patches online for $2.50, but the session was brough to a swift end. Fingers crossed he'll be up and flying again tomorrow if we can find the patches here.  Tom wish you were here to help.
$2.50 a patch, I wonder how many we'll need?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Amwaj Islands Speed Course

It was not until this summer that I tried out one of Tom's GPS units during one of the Maui VMAX events . As I only had my wave set up (Tabou Da Curve 73 Twin Fin & 5.3 HSM Fire) that's what I used. I was pleased with my initial results and managed 29.5 (100m) on a speed trip to Molokai with Tom. Speed sailing on wave kit is an interesting and a not very fast concept but it was so much fun. Not satisfied with seeing how fast the wave board would go I thought that it was about time I revisited slalom gear for the first time in 14 years (I gave up racing when I was 18).

I was pleased with my 33.2 knots using a borrowed Hi-Tech 8'10" and 2010 HSM GPS 6m but I want to go faster. I realized that I had a speed course right on my door step (even sailable at night if that’s when the wind comes).

On a big high tide the wall that surrounds our island is only 12 inches high and the water inside perfectly flat. I realized that the areas we have been using for wakeboarding are in fact possible speed venues.

So we have the course, now all I need is some gear and some wind. As the wind rarely gets over 25 knots I will need to get some biggish gear which I should be able to hold on to when it gets windy as the water will still be perfectly flat.

Updates to follow...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back on Land

We have been making a few changes to our Facebook pressence in recent days to improve what we offer our loyal customers. These changes are summarized below.

1) The HotSails Maui FB profile has been renamed to HotSails Maui Photos; this is the place for you to tag yourself and your friends using HOT products.

2) We will be using the new Hot Sails Maui FB Page as a channel for official HOT announcements, customer feedback, rider and product news etc. Using this will enable us to develop what we have on offer and enhance your online experience. Along with many other ideas we plan to develop a Facebook store which will give followers privileged access to special offers, promotions etc. More details of these features will be released soon.


We ask all of our loyal fans, customers and supporters to **LIKE** our new FB Page and remain friends with us on the HotSails Maui Photos Profile. You can use the application below to easily like our page now and we encourage you to stay tuned and watch the development in the coming weeks and months.

We are always interested in your feedback so if you have any comments please do not hesitate to get in touch via Email or the Forum.  

We hope that you will be pleased with these developments.


Hot Sails Maui

Monday, August 17, 2009

The (Ending) Summer

As we pack half of our stuff in boxes to leave in Maui and half of our stuff into bags to take the 11,000 or so miles back to Bahrain I thought it was about time to write my first post to this new blog which will be dedicated to wind and waves. Unfortunately the summer is drawing to a close and that means only one thing for Liz and myself - Work and not enough water. But for now I want to list as many of the best things as I can remember from our summer on the island;

1) Picking Liz up from the airport
2) K-day (a big shout out to Po and Kika)
3) Surfing on Liz's 8'0"
4) 2 Maui Vmax speed events, 33.2 knots using slalom gear for the first time since 1995
5) Molokai speed day (except the ferry ride home) with Tom
6) GoPro wide angle headcam
7) Our wonderful Sprecks house
8) Nadia
9) Getting hyped for the hurricane - that never came
10) SUP and south side surf

Now for some pics;


A couple of quick videos I made with Tom's Gro Pro Wide Angle and head mount.

Looking forward to using it in some bigger surf.