Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WINDY - 60 Days of Summer Days 33

The morning started with a tough run, Liz had taken the GPS with here on a ride so for the first time in a while I was running solo without the aid of a tracking and pacing device. With the wind on my back for the first 3.5 km and singing along to my iPod I think that I went a little faster than planned. I was having fun and kept going, without a timing device I wanted to ensure that I wasn't gowing slower than normal. The result was that I probably set a new PB and was totally surpised at the time on the cooker when I got back into the house. I had arranged to meet Liz at Anthony's in Paia for a quick lunch so jumped in the car without thinking too much about it but I could feel my legs!

I don't drink coffee but the teas here are great!

We had our first ever date here so it is kinda special and rather in keeping with the sail choice for today!

I had left it until 3pm to go to the beach today in the hope tha the conditions would be at their best. It is not often that I reach for anything smaller than 4.5 in Hawaii but before I even rocked up to Ho’okipa I could see that the ocean was being whipped up by an unusually strong trade wind. While we had expected stronger winds for today I am not sure we really expected to be overpowered on 4.2m sails. Following a few days of rather poor conditions and with the prospect of some trade swell in the coming days most sailors had either opted to take a rest day or gone somewhere else. Egged on by the fact that Jimmie had just turned up and that Liz had come down to watch I took only a moment to grab my special HSM SuperFreak and rigged quickly.

Warming up with a few spins.

When it is this windy at Ho’okipa it is generally extremely gusty and extremely small, today both of these were true and it was a real effort to get settled down enough to be amble to find a ramp. There was plenty of potential if you could hit it right but with tiny short period swell and cross, sometimes cross/off conditions getting up to full speed between the choppy waves was the real challenge and not one which I rose to particularly well. I treated it as an on water gym session and the 30+ mph winds tossed me around enough to ensure that I had a few aches and strains by the end of the session. I know that 4.2m sails are commonly used in waves around the world but when you are used to the consistent 5.0 weather here it comes as a shock. Today's conditions gave me a big reminder that I need to get to Pozo and/or Guincho for some high octane sailing as it has been a while.

More forwards, my board is going to hate me!

Low and fast pushie. Great feel from the Freak.

A very rare small wave. Later on as the tide fell some more a few waves started to form and the forecast for tomorrow is waste to chest high waves and maybe a little more.

The sail: I cannot conclude this post without talking a little about the sail I was using today. I don’t generally carry a 4.2 around with me in Hawaii but today before leaving our house I grabbed a very special sail. It was given to us as wedding present from Anne and Tom then decorated by all of our wedding guests at the reception with Sharpies. As I rigged it did create a bit of stir and prompted a few comments particularly with the on looking tourists. I have only used it a couple of times but it always makes me smile and reminds me of our friends. I don’t usually use HSM Super Freaks which have achieved an almost cult following out here and in many places around the world and it was interesting to experience the very different feel. In many ways the sail was the perfect choice and it's softer characteristics helped to smooth out some of the gusts. These sails feel a little different in the air because they have less pre-shaped foil giving a slower, smoother rotation on forwards and amazing feel on pushloops and other moves where you are back winding the sail.

This is a very very special and totally unique sail.

Pic of the day

There is nothing better than watching the sun go down in Hawaii after a fun day on the water. I took this picture a couple of year ago in Haiku looking towards the North Shore. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Sailing record = 91% (29/32)
On water record = 94%

Nice to see these numbers slowly creeping back up, my foot is starting to heel and I am in less pain although when I land jumps it is a little tender.

More to follow...

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