Saturday, March 8, 2008

Party at York River Seafood

Wow, this is the second week in a row we've had an epic windsurfing / kiteboarding bash on a Saturday. Today, York River Seafood was the venue, and EVERYBODY was there.

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The wind and rain were blasting when Farrah Hall, Paul Richardson and I first arrived. I helped Paul rig a 3.7 m sail borrowed from the VIMS Sail and Paddle Club, and rigged a 4.25 for myself. Farrah went for a 4.0 (she has nice, Sailworks brand sails that she uses when not training for the Olympics with the official RS:X sail). Ironically, the wind died down shortly after we got on the water, so Farrah and I re-rigged to 5.4 / 5.2 sails. It was pretty good for a while, but then it got a little too light and quirky. Around then the kiters showed up, so we windsurfers took a time-out to socialize with them and wait for the wind to improve a little. We observed that of the 7 riders in attendance, 6 of us could be matched up with another rider who had an identical wetsuit or drysuit. We could have had a tag-team wrestling match or something.

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Anyway, after a while the wind picked up. A lot.

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I had convinced Paul to go for a 4.5 for his second round, given the earlier downward trend of the wind. But when he actually got in the water with it, it was pretty darn windy.

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Wind was just what Paul needed, though, and he showed everyone how ridiculously fast he could go, even without using the footstraps on his old longboard.

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While Paul was out there, the kiters on their 9 m kites started to get way overpowered. There were a couple near-disasters when kites warped out of shape and snapped around in the sky, but everyone made it to shore alive. Farrah and I switched back to our 4.x sails, which were able to handle the conditions pretty well for about half an hour.

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After that, though, it got REAL hairy, like significantly more than 30 knots. We ended up in the water waiting for lulls just we could waterstart. At various points, each of us had the entire rig and board ripped out of our hands and thrown end over end through the air. Yikes! We called it quits when we made it back to shore. It was warm and sunny by then, but the wind was just TOO much, and I didn't even bother rigging my 3.5.

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Brian, the most agro kiter, tried to go out on a 6 m kite, but that didn't work AT ALL. When I left, Paul Dovel was rigging up a 3 m and a 4 m kite, but I have no idea whether or not he was able to actually ride them.

7 comments:

Paul Richardson said...

Great post! Great DAY! I just posted a couple of pics of you and Farrah here: http://waterloggeddog.blogspot.com/2008/03/extreme-speed.html
ENJOY!

Josh said...

James saturday was a crazy day. I sailed back home in Maryland first day on the water since about the time I met up with bruce and you down in Hatteras. Its a little harry sailing alone in 30 mph wind and 44 degree water. Shoot me an email (joshjmi@gmail.com) if you guys are planing a weekend trip some time.

Oh I also followed your lead and posted my session in hopes to get some other sailors out on the eastern shore. easternshorewind.blogspot.com

Robert Bruce said...

Interesting blog. I've never been to the Va. shore, but did spend a few days on the Md. beach. That's about my lowest limit, 44 F. water, and in my increasing age tend to avoid it.

Emmett said...

Shouldn't Paul be wearing a helmet . . .?

Johnny Douglass said...

Emmett. Yes, Paul should be wearing a helmet. HEY!!! I think he's wearing my waist harness. So that's what happened to it.

James Douglass said...

Paul- Thanks for taking the pictures, man.

Josh- Awesome that you're doing the blog thing now. Hope to sail with you again soon.

Robert Bruce- Thanks for checking out the blog. Yeah, 44 degrees is about the limit for a wetsuit, but when the wind is good it's worth it. :)

Emmett- Yes, Paul should be wearing a helmet... to protect his board from further damage during headfirst crashes.

Dad- Yep, that's your old harness. Time to get you one that actually fits for your Edisto Island retirement windsurfing. And maybe an extra w i d e board to match it. ;)

Paul Richardson said...

Yeah, yea, I'll get a helmet. God forbid I put another ding in my stick!