Monday, June 6, 2016

Tropical Storm Colin Windsurfing Session

It's not usually windy this time of year in Florida, but Tropical Storm Colin brought some strong wind today, along with rain, thunderstorms, and even a tornado that apparently crossed Lovers' Key island near where I live. I wasn't sure it would clear up enough for me to sail, but in the late afternoon, it did.

I was worried that my usual spot Wiggins Pass would be closed due to beach erosion or safety concerns, but I figured Bonita Beach Access #1, also known as Doc's Beach House, would be open. It looked plenty windy when I arrived, so I rigged a 4.7 m^2 sail and brought out my small 83 liter board. This 4.7 is a used but new-to-me "Fire" from Hot Sails Maui. I'm still figuring it out, but so far I really like it. It seems very responsive to tuning. At the minimum downhaul tension setting, with loose outhaul, it's powerful for its size, and you can get away with using it in conditions that aren't quite windy enough for a 4.7. More downhaul adds control when the wind comes up, making the sail feel smooth and balanced in it's ideal wind range. If you add both downhaul and outhaul tension you can get rid of a lot of the power in the sail to windsurf in higher winds without feeling like you're overpowered... but you have to be careful not to over-tighten the outhaul if you still need power.

The song in this short video is by the Misfits.

TS Colin 6-6-16 from James Douglass on Vimeo.


Andrew said...

Nice! We got the beginning of this in Grand Cayman and had some great windsurfing over the weekend - also 4.7 on 80L - good fun!

James Douglass said...

Andrew- Cool, man! 4.7 is the best sail size ever.