Mittwoch, September 19, 2007

Stormy Weather - one for the Windsurfers...

Yesterday night in bed, when I read the latest issue of the German Yacht Magazine, I came across an article about classic yachts and how they should be transformed into practicale boats today. Restoration projects like the classic "J" boats, new building projects from the same rule and smaller yachts of course. One particular boat got my interest. "Stormy Weather". Haven´I seen this one in the Med last December when participating in the regatta in Antibes? Are there two examples of "Stormies" now, this well known cruiser/racer from the famous S & S design board? I will try to find out.

Anyway, "Stormy Weather" is what we had last weekend. Instead of practising with the Bladerider, where I have a clear goal of not becoming last boat at their class championship mid of October, I skipped the idea of breaking gear within 20sec after launching the boat. Not going out on the water was also not a good idea and I unpacked my good old slalom gear ("no whips and chains, buy slalom gear" - as Ken Winner once said in the early eighties) which was stowed away for two consecutive summers. The board being a 2,65 slalom from Litewave, Cornwall and the sails are Simmer Style. I took the 4,7 which was a handful in the strong gusts channeling down the Schlei at the "narrow" in front of my lawn. But is was all fun. The power jibes went smooth and smoother even with wind from the right side, which normally and in the old days at our favourite spots came from the left. I thought myself that this is like riding a bike. Once you are able to manage it, you do not forget it. But you loose power, stamina and physical strength for this sport if you are not practising it. 2 sessions went very well, in the second one: "I did not even got my hair wet". After another pause, I met a neighbor whom´s son is into windsurfing and whom had gone to a different spot in the morning. We discussed a little bit and he wanted to see me doing it. At least this is what I felt during our discussion. The wind had dropped a bit and there were holes. Still above 4 Bft but my board being a non volume board (sinker) and even sinking deeper in fresh water other than salt water and my sail was fully battened and "small". But I did the mistake of not trusting my gut feeling. I went out. Did well on the first leg, jibed well, catched a wave, lot´s of speed and than in the middle of the playing field the wind dropped and I sank. Had to swim in all the way with my gear. Not once getting back up on the board. Had to carry the gear a long way home. Felt the tired muscles and bones all through Sunday. A good day out but tiresome.

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