Sunday, July 27, 2008

YRS With Chris

Yesterday afternoon was one of those "as good as it gets" days for summertime windsurfing in Virginia. The local seabreeze, which usually peters out around 10-15 knots, was boosted to a robust 15-20 knots by the broader wind pattern. Chris Coyne and I both rode 5.8 m sails at York River seafood. Here's Chris getting ready to launch.

We had to wade through a disgusting, 2-foot thick mat of rotting macroalgae and dead and dying fish and crabs. Algal blooms like this and the one in China are usually related to excess nutrients entering the water from human activity, i.e. sewage and runoff from farms and pavement.

Here was another sign that the Chesapeake Bay we windsurf in ain't exactly pristine.

The "eternal flame" of the Amoco refinery and powerplant across the river also evoked the heavy human impact on the bay.

Chris was sailing pretty well on his 5.8 KA sail and 160 liter Hifly Matrix (a heavy plastic version of the twin-fin Hifly Madd). He has improved a lot this summer. The one thing I still bug him to work on is to commit more of his weight to the sail to get on a plane faster and to get in the footstraps without sinking the windward rail.

The picture below shows Sam Franck in a good, committed stance with the sail fully sheeted in and the board trimmed flat. Chris, do this. :P

I thought of a little rhyme to help instill proper stance:

Extend yourself to sheet the sail
And keep weight off the windward rail



Mac said...

James, Tell Chris to point his toes. That'll do the trick.

Outdrsmn said...

Thanks for the critique. I know I need to do that. Something just didn't feel right. I think the mast base being too far forward contributed to the problem. Last time I sailed that board it was with a 7.8 and I didn't move it back any for the 5.8. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)

In that last photo of me I was trying your suggestion to get in the straps first then hook in. I tell you it really felt more awkward than it looked.
In the distance photo I was sailing comfortably but my feet were just in front of the straps so I couldn't get locked in. When I got in the straps I had to roll my toes downward lifting my heels and push the sail hard away to keep the board on course otherwise it would round upwind drop off plane and stall.

On the pollution aspect there is a source you missed. Residential landscaping contributes its fair share of nitrogen to the watershed. I'm in the business so I see waste from both overuse and sloppy application. The worst part is most people don't realize the damage they do. I'm not referring to the commercial applicators; they are trained and certified, same with farmers. I'm talking about the average homeowner. Education is needed in that area.

James Douglass said...

Chris- You da man. Yeah, I reckon a little different tuning could have made it easier to get in the right stance.

Also, that's a good point about residential fertilizer application. People who don't know better really overdo it.

Outdrsmn said...

James, In hind sight how did the board feel to you when you rode it. I know you are much better at adapting to what you are riding but did it feel strange to you? What adjustments to your sailing style did you make if any.

I will have a post up soon with the photos I took. Just had to much going on the last two days to edit the draft from the other day.

By the way "I'm da man". If only I was!!!!

James Douglass said...

Chris- Actually, you really ARE the man. I say, embrace it. :)

The main thing I noticed with your board when I rode it was that the back footstraps were too tight, so I had to exaggerate my toe-pointing and weight-suspending to keep from sinking the windward rail. When I loosened the straps I could get my toes closer to the centerline and keep the board trimmed flat more easily.

Of course, when getting on a plane you put your front foot in first and keep your back foot more over the centerline of the board to keep it trimmed flat while you get up to speed. Once you've got good speed and you're fully sheeted you can sneak your back foot in quickly.

Hope we get some more wind to play with soon.