Saturday, December 17, 2011

Been super windy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well my last post talked about an up and coming blow and blow it did!!! Last week saw deep depression after deep depression pushing through up the Channel. It all started to kick off about 10 days ago and Phil Warry and I had an airtime session in a WNW over the high tide heading out from t'others on the 4.2's - it was just loads of air time after loads of air time. It was classic Vaz with about 6-8ft swell breaking about 300-400m out and a perfect tide with the reefs breaking up the wind chop so that we could hit the ramps at full speed. I did a vid with the head cam which is a work in progress. Here'a a snap shot of Phil and I heading out for some action:


After opening blinder of a session the other sessions have all become a blur with the 4.7/5.3/5.5 and even the 3.7s seeing some action. The wind during the last week was relentless and I cannot remember ever ever in the last 28yrs of windsufing that there has been such a windy week; on the Monday it hit 56knts, the Tuesday it was gusting 63knts, on the Wednesday 62knts and on the Thursday a mere 52knts - oh and not forgetting the Friday and Saturday (today) when it was hitting 40knts. And it wasn't just the wind, the swell was as big as it gets, with Vazon facing straight out into the Atlantic it was taking the full brunt of the swell, the off-shore reefs like Les Roches du Bois, the Nor'West Grunes and the like were all firing and were clearly visibly breaking top to bottom, I'd guess with 40ft+ faces (bearing in mind Les Roches du Bois is about 2miles out and you could clearly see the wave jack up and break from the shore!!) In Vazon itself the swells on the Wednesday morning were pumping, so much so that they were breaking in line with Fort Houmet. In the pic below to put it into scale the fort on the headland is about 50ft-60ft above sea level so the wave in middle is at least mast and half and probably the bigger sets were nudging double mast: 
The reality is of course that it has been all a little too much, 60knt winds and 20ft of swell on the 3.7/4.2 is pretty suicidal. On the Monday Phil, Hutch and Simon took on Vaz, and it wasn't dis-similar to the above pic - the tales from the tube revolve around mast and half high bombs, so much wind in the squalls that they had to retire to the beach (they were on 4.2s) and lumps of ice falling out of the sky!!!
Thrown into all of this was the delivery of a few new sails, a 2.1, a 4.2 and a 4.7. They arrived a couple of days ago and I managed my first session on my 4.7 today. Now it is something to behold, at 2.7kgs or there about it is the lightest wave sail in the world, and for those of you who remember the Hotsails Gridlock from the 90's you'll know that if anyone can do light Hotsails can - I took it out today and I can say without a doubt it is the most responsive light reactive sail I have ever had the pleasure of using, so much so that I will happily lend it to anyone to try out because without the Firelight experience they will be missing something - I really think that Tom and Jeff at Hot have hit the nail on the head with this sail. It reminded my of the first time that i took out a full carbon board after years of sailing crappy flexible Tigas etc (because that was all I could afford) and being amazed how much difference it makes. The conditions were far from perfect with a low tide and Nw'er at Vaz, but at least there was a good swell, it was pretty much starboard tack but with 4-6ft faces I clocked some good air time and managed a couple of monsterous backside aerials on port in the the cross on conditions. No action pics but Steve Sminth did text me to comment on a 'nice backie' - always good to get a text from the one of the boys: Here's a pic of her in all her lightness!!!

The big Hotsails logo is a limited edition and i wouldn't mind betting that my outing today was perhaps the first in Europe with this version of the sail!

Of course not forgetting that during this frenzied week of wind last week we had the GBSA annual prize giving......but it's late and I'm tired so i'll report on that tomorrow!!