Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 Windsurfing Review

Last year I revealed myself as an obsessive compulsive record keeper when I posted a statistical analysis of my 2007 windsurfing sessions. Well, I've done more or less the same thing for my 2008 sessions, though I've experimented with some different ways of presenting the data.

Highlights and Trends-

1) 133 windsurfing sessions, not counting 5 times I just instructed. This is down from 154 sessions in 2007. I attribute the drop to dissertation writing, traveling, meteorological conditions, and a slight increase in wind-snobbery. Most of my sessions were shortboard sessions on 7.0 or smaller sails, but about a third were longboard sessions, which were also fun. On any given day, there was a 36% chance that I would windsurf at all, a 24% chance that I would ride a shortboard, and an 8% chance that I would ride a shortboard smaller than 100 liters. That works out to windsurfing once every 3 days, shortboarding once every 4 days, and high-wind shortboarding every 13 days, on average.


2) I started and ended the year with 3 boards and 6 sails, but there was some turnover. In the spring, I updated my highwind shortboard from a ProTech ATC (77 l) to an F2 Style 250 (87 l), and replaced my 6.9 and 8.5 Ezzy sails with 6.6 and 7.8 Aerotech sails. In the summer, I had a fling with a Fanatic Ultra Cat longboard, but sold it and kept my trusty Kona longboard. In the fall I sold my Fanatic Skate 63 (114 l) and got a brand new Exocet Cross (106 l). The boards currently in my quiver are in bold in the table below.


3) I sailed from 26 different beaches in 5 geographic regions.


Each region had its own character in terms of weather. The most extreme and variable winds and temperatures were in the winter and springtime in the Chesapeake Bay and Outer Banks.


The temperature chart shows some cold days in August, corresponding with windsurfing in chilly Puget Sound during my post-PhD trip home to Olympia, WA. A pair of windy sessions around the same time reflect my trip to The Columbia River Gorge.


4) Every session was a blessing in its own way, but there were five that really stood out for having especially thrilling, satisfying, and/or spiritual qualities.

Feb 10th - A nuclear W wind solo session on 3.5 at Carmines Island, VA.
Jun 13th - Perfect summertime SE wind and swells at York River Seafood, in the good company of my friends Sam and Heather.
Aug 8th - A brisk SW wind from the Pacific let me go on a long longboard journey through the Eld Inlet fjord and around to Budd Inlet, where I could see the WA State Capitol building and snow-capped Mount Rainier.
Aug 12th - It was 20-30 knots at Doug's Beach in the Gorge. There was the smell of desert dust and sage, and the invigorating majesty of the rock cliffs and roaring swell-trains.
Sep 24th - The biggest, smoothest waves I've ever sailed, in 25 knots of warm NE wind at the Fort Pierce Jetty.

All in all, 2008 was a fantastic year of freedom and adventures, both on and off the water. I count myself a dang lucky guy. :D


Outdrsmn said...

Wow!! And I thought you were obsessive with last years report;)

I'm already looking forward to the multi media presentation for 2009. With no dissertation eating up your time I expect it will be extensive. Maybe you should look into getting yourself an assistant. You really should have someone to track and compile all the data for you. That way you will have more TOW.

Here's to many a Fresh Breeze in 09.

PeconicPuffin said...

Wonderful. You don't disappoint!

Congratulations on 130 days of windsurfing! I got 82 in 2008, compared to 130 in 2007...we suffered from poor winds last year.

Frank said...

Hi James, In your data I noticed you didn't mention sail models only size. My quiver has full race sails in large sizes (11.5 9.8 8.3) and twin cam 7.0 then full batten RAF 6.0 then wave (5.0 4.2 3.7). 9.8 to 6.0 are used most. Have you noticed over lap when the type change as well as size.


James Douglass said...

Outdrsmn- Ha ha. :P Yeah, next year maybe I'll have my lab assistant prepare a powerpoint lecture with equations and stuff.

Puffin Michael- Yeah, I heard you guys really got skunked this summer in the Northeast. There were a few slow streches in the south, but looking back on the my data I can't say there were any long skunking spells.

Frank- Well, all my sails are camless freeride or wave sails, so I think the sizes sailed are a pretty good indicator of the conditions, with no abrupt jumps in size or major overlaps. There are some weirdnesses, though, like the fact that I sometime use my largest sail (7.8) from almost zero wind, up to wind gusting over 20, as in the inlet to inlet regatta. Also, I'll sometimes use multiple sails in a single session. I record all that, but for the data analysis I only focus on the "main" sail that I used for the definitive part of the session.

George Markopoulos said...

being an accountant, i thought I was detail oriented.

good googa booga