Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Records Smashed! - 60 Days of Summer Day 18

Sorry about the later than normal post, the internet has been down here in Maui, just as a reminder how isolated this place actually is!

Today was a slightly strange day, when you have had wind everyday without fail I guess you get a little complacent. In recent days I have been sailing a little later in the day, we have been so busy and it has been good to avoid the hottest part of the day (although any day feels cold here compared to Bahrain!) too. Tom (HSM Designer) and I had arranged to sail together today so that we could test the 2011 Hot Sails GPS and the new prototype Black Project fins but to our surprise the wind looked light on the north shore so we opted to race over to the forbidden south side to sail at Kihei (most sailors fear the 8 mile drive down south but, as Tom pointed out when you have driven 6 hours to sail in Cornwall only to be “skanked” and drive 6 hours back home a 20 min round trip doesn’t seem all that bad. On arrival in Kihei I was thinking to myself that I had never actually sailed there (yes, I too have been one of those sailors!), I didn’t want to jinx the trip so kept quiet but, those thoughts were enough to ensure that the God of No Wind had cast a shadow on us! Oh well back to Sprecks (where Liz and I live) but rather than the having to listen to the same CD over and over (like on a trip to Cornwall) there was barely enough time for 2 tracks of the pounding Hammer music.

When the wind is light and from the North or North East then it is usually windier in Kihei but it is not that popular unless you are a racer or freestyler.

On arrival it seemed pretty light so Tom rigged a 2011 8.0m GPS prototype and I rigged a 5.6m 2011 Bolt prototype. I was a little concerned that the Light Wind Speed Challenge was on his mind and fearful that my record would fall. I was also testing the new 16cm Twin Fins and the GoPro anti fog strips. Unfortunately the light wind meant that while I kept my 100% record for the summer it wasn’t the most exhilarating 30 minutes of my sailing career. I was trying to work out the criteria for claiming the day but, as I caught a gust and managed an under rotated back loop I figured that would do it. All the time I could see Tom thundering down the Camp One Speed course and couldn’t help thinking that the record was about to fall but much to my surprise when back on the beach Tom had not managed to break the record YET!

Tom eventually smashed my best 8.0m speed by setting an impressive 29.9 knots (10 seconds) and with that he regains the Light Wind Speed Challenge trophy. That speed is going to be hard to beat here in Maui but you wait until I get the 8.0 out at The Wall, Bahrain. Tom is pictured here with his new 2011 GPS prototype.

The wind had dropped down and I decided to summons the wind gods once more by de-rigging in the hope that the wind would materialise and give the Hammer another shot at glory. Right on cue as the final piece of my kit was neatly stashed away the wind picked up to a steady 15 knots and Tom was back out, even from my vantage point some distance away I could see the record tumble and Tom regained what is rightfully his with a speed of 29.9 knots. Tom will have to wait a little longer to get the trophy back in his house as it was unfortunately smashed in transit between Sprecks and Paia but, the less said about that the better! Congrats to Tom who raised the bar today. If you are interested in joining the Light Wind Speed Challenge and use HSM GPS sails please email me.

1st Tom Hammerton 29.9 knots (2011 8.0m GPS Prototype, 2005 Exocet S4 125 ltr)
2nd Chris Freeman 27.14 knots (2009 8.0m GPS, 2005 Exocet S4 125 ltr)
3rd Andrew Freeman 25.33 knots (2009 8.0m GPS, 2005 Exocet S4 125 ltr)

You will see that we have all set our fastest times with the same board!

2011 HSM Bolt Sneak Peak – I moved over to the Bolts (from the Fire) for 2010 so it was great to be able to try out the 2011 prototype and I was instantly impressed by what it brought to the table. The light weight and easy handling has been maintained but with added stability. The now fashionable shorter boom with over hanging leech, new panel layout and new colour scheme make it look the part too. Sail and board fashions have meant that we have had a variety of contrasting looks over the years (remember the fluro Kleppers of the late 80’s that fell apart at the seams then compare that to the very plain white F2s of the 90’s) but for 2011 it seems that manufacturers have gone for lots of really bright colours and the water will look like a gay pride parade through San Francisco or Brighton for the foreseeable future (that is until the 2012 sails are released when I am sure all will change again).

For 2011 the Bolt features a new panel layout and great new set of colour schemes.

Bolt 2011: Loving the new colour scheme and easy handling. Today I was trying a new boom mount with the camera very close to the clew; I also angled the camera to give this slanted view and to get a wider field of view, will be good when we get some bump'n'jump or wave riding. CLICK TO ENLARGE

The Bolt’s x-ply window has been kept for added strength and the four battens remain (I wonder if any manufacturers will seriously try to make a 3 batten wave sail? I saw a prototype from one company at Ho’okipa a couple of weeks back). As you know from reading the above there wasn’t mush wind so I will have to leave my full analysis until I get a better day to test but, my first comment was; “When can I have one?” I will have to wait becuase they are not available yet.

Providing that there is wind it is back to the training ground tomorrow and some more slalom practice, if the wind is light I will be trying the regain the trophy! I must make sure that I register for the weekend too.

Pic of the day

As I said that the beginning of my 60 day mission, you need plenty of gear to be on the water everyday and as you can see from the photo the gear is mounting up in our back yard. Normally I just have one waveboard and two sails! Luckily for me Hot Sails Maui are always there to sort me out, I can't imagine how I could cope if I had to pay retail for all this stuff!  

Sailing record = 100% (17/17 possible days)

More to follow…

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