Sunday, April 6, 2008

Windsurfing Thing Report

Well, Marc Rosen's windsurfing weenie roast in Baltimore was NOT cancelled, after all. The weather was actually sunny and mild and there was a decent breeze on the water. We arrived to the sight of Marc's huge sprinter van spilling its windsurfing guts out onto the grass of the park and broadcasting Frank Zappa music far and wide.

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We had to rig up our windsurfing stuff carefully, on account of goose shit everywhere. Oh, well. At least it wasn't dog shit. Catapulting Aaron, of blogger fame, showed up and we met in real life for the first time. He managed to sail formula stuff while most of us were riding smaller gear, so I think he's a better windsurfer than the name implies. I rode my Kona with a 7.8, then demo'ed Marc's HiFly Madd 162 with an 8.5. After sailing for a while we came back for the burnt weenie roast and baked beans boogie.

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Somehow even bad food tastes good when it's procured in nature by a fine chef.

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After lunch we sailed some more and Farrah Hall and I traded windsurfs for a while. It was the first time I had ever ridden the Olympic RS:X board. The up-and-down wind gave ample opportunity to see how it worked both in planing mode and with the daggerboard down. It's not an easy board to figure out, but it actually seemed to perform pretty well. I liked the adjustable downhaul that Farrah had. I had used an adjustable outhaul, but being able to adjust the downhaul increased the range and power of the sail even more. If I ever get into serious formula or longboard racing I'm definitely going to get an adjustable downhaul.

Regarding the Kona, Farrah said it felt "easy ... like a toy". I was like, "Well, it IS a toy!" Half-serious, Farrah said, "Ha, windsurfing isn't about fun, it's about WINNING!" I guess that's how an Olympian's mind works. :)

The picture below is Farrah standing by her RS:X after sailing it in the morning when the wind was stronger and it had lots of downhaul (you can see the top trailing edge of the sail hanging loose because of the downhaul).

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4 comments:

Catapulting Aaron said...

I had a great time and it was great meeting youse guys. The secret I didn't share is that my first board was a Starboard Formula 155 and a 7.5 m sail, so what you saw was as good as it gets for me =).

See you at windfest!

Mac said...

Is Farah going to Windfest? Would love to meet her and watch her kick butt on the water.

On a related note...what do you think about you, Peconic Puffin, Catapulting Aaron, Windy Waters Rob, OBX Bill, and I meeting at the Frisco Woods shelter by the beer truck on Thursday evening after 1st day of Windfest? Of course, we could meet earlier on the water depending on conditions and where everyone is sailing. I can also get you guys my cell # and vice/versa. Thoughts?

Periwinkle=Smurf said...

This link didn't really belong in the Boobology entry, but is this the future of windsurfing?
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7188/full/452696a.html

Sophia

James Douglass said...

Mac- Farrah wanted to do windfest, but she's going to be training in Europe until May. I'm getting to windfest on Friday, so maybe we could meet by the beer truck at 5pm then. If the beer truck isn't there we can meet by the Starboard truck. Email me and we can exchange contact info.

Sophia- That's a cool article on solar sails! A bunch of the windsurfers in my local club work at NASA Langley. Maybe they could translate their expertise to solar sail design. Or solar kite design, maybe.