May day Bigbury
|Venue:||South Devon (Bigbury)|
|Forthcoming event||See the build up|
|Pictures:||Pictures for May day Bigbury (3)|
Last updated: 03/05/10 22:55 By: Andrew
Helen and I went to Christchuch on the assumption that there would be hardly any wind, but were pleasantly surprised by a decent blow that allowed me to get going on a 7.5m. Helen was on a 6m and we enjoyed 2 hours in the harbour. It was Helen's first day out this year because of a nagging shoulder injury, and I had the pleasure of seeing my girlfriend in a wetsuit for the first time this year.....nice....!
Ah Bigbury!! Think I've sailed here just the once... And it was barely a sail this time! Faced with a rising tide, and a sinking wind, Messers Mckay, Hierro and Gouk ventured out in the hope of some late afternoon action. We tried the main beach, east of Burgh Island - nope. Then we tried the westerly beach, and tooled about for the best part of an hour, pretending to catch the not very big waves in a very light wind. Positives - I made every one of the tacks I attempted, which was actually pretty cool... except I only tried them on one tack but hey... Finally, it got to hard to do anything much, so we stood on the edge of the incoming sea and waited a bit until it wasn't so far to walk to get back, before lugging the kit back up the cliff and packing away, in time to repair to the Royal Oak for an excellent repast. And lots of beer.
A late change to the forecast meant another bonus Southwesterly before the cold North winds were due to start. Not as windy as yesterday, but still enough for a 5.8m with a bit of pumping and surprisingly quiet for a bank holiday weekend.
After a morning exploring an interesting garden in Salcombe with the triplets, we came back to find the forecast NE blowing form the river out to sea. People were zooming occasionally back and forth, and it seemed a pity not to join them. In fact, as I carried the kit out to the water's edge, it was clearly blowing pretty hard - I jumped into the footstraps to assist with holding myself steady before even bothering with the harness lines, as I planed away from the break! A lovely long zooming run across the bay, across the flat water being held down by the offshore wind... it was even sunny! Returned to the starting point to help Juan sort out adjusting his kit, and... The wind was never the same after that - yeah, we had a moderate run, with Juan heading out to the rocks, but both of us struggled back, him especially! The rest of the time was spent pretending we were having fun, as the flukey wind taunted us along with the almost-there groundswell that would have been quite fun if we'd had some power. Ah well. Bigbury, I know you can do it - just when I'm there please! Still better than drinking tea in the cafe though
Didn't make it all the way down to Devon, stopped at Weymouth & stayed in Nu's parents penthouse overlooking Portland harbour......well it beats the hell out of roughing it in the back of the trannie!.....& has the added bonus of grandparent child care cover so both of us can clear off & sail!
First time out this year for us, it was a north easterly, which is less than optimal for Portland, harbour more choppy than usual & wind gusty, but I was nicely powered up on a 6.5m T-bird & my beloved RRD FSW 95L ltd (move over Nu!).....it is such a sweet board that rarely fights you - helping you all the time without you really being aware of it.
NE wind, mostly cloudy & water still not that warm following a hardish winter made for cold hands, but body kept warm working board & sail.
We sailed for a couple of hours from 4pm-6pm then Nu headed in. I decided to go for one last go to try out a new board - my light wind board - not exactly in the sort of conditions I have bought it to use in BUT I wanted to christen it & see what it was like.
A 2009 x-fire 120L full on slalom board with a 6.5m sail really is not the sort of board you want to try out for the first time in such conditions - I can only describe the first run as 'scary' as a gust came through which saw me well powered up with the 6.5m. At least the nose is a little higher than the isonic 111's so it never felt so much at risk of burying the nose & sending me flying forward. But the verdict is still out if this board purchase was a wise move or not.....
The Sunrise to Sunset windsurf event raising money for Cancer Research,
I was up at 4:40am from my warm bed, turning on the gas stove preparing it to cook my morning breakfast. I was about to endure an early morning windsurf and had to be out on the water by 5:37am Sunrise. I cooked my bacon, eggs toast and a cup of tea, and flung on my wetsuit, (which was semi dry from sailing the night before). It is a strange feeling donning a wetsuit soon after vacating my bed.
I ate my beaky and went outside to see what was stirring. It was still hazy and dark, some people were already out rigging their kit. I had rigged my kit the day before, and decided to stick with my chosen sail size. There was no wind at all and some people were preparing their SUPs.
I was still walking around the other windsurfer?s chating about their choice of sail size sipping my tea, when I noticed some sailors starting to take their kit towards the water front. If i remember correctly it was about low tide and the water was dead still and there was a light offshore breaze.
I finished my cup of tea and grabbed my kit to place it on the shore front, Then I watched as the first two people went out. Then the third etc, I decided too to get in, I was the 4th person out, which although was not a race it was nice to be one of the first few to be on the water.
There was little to no wind, and we floated out a little, I decided to get back in incase I drifted with the currents and it would have been difficult to come back, especially as we need to wait for David Tuttlebee the organiser of the charity, W4CR to be formerly the first sailor out at Sunrise.
David Tuttlebee went out followed by a number of other people, and then we all lined up and sailed out to the water while a photographer took some happy snapps.
Some sailors stayed out and played around in the wind/tide in the waist high water. I stayed out for a while, practicing my tacks, and helicopter spins etc, entering the water on a number of occasions, Which may sound cold but it was rather refreshing.
One of the chaps, who?s name I cannot recall pledged that he would sail from sunrise to sunset. He wore what looked like a strange green wetsuit which made him look like a frog man, (not a Frenchman) he even had a back pack with his supplies of water, food and a cell phone (totally mad)
The day went one, the wind did not pick until about 1pm, some people with large sails managed to get planning, while others like me played around with small wind tacks and basic sailing. By this time I have been in and out of my wetsuit many times as the chill in the air was getting worse, There were a number of master blaseter races that were held, I entered both which I came about last on each, But the experience and the commoradity (not sure how to spell this word) was worth it.
The second race, which I definetly came last on, froze my fingers, as I was not wearimng any gloves.
A few hours later after drying my wetsuit, the wind picked up steadily and sailors were planning, I decidide to head out, By this time the day was long and I was tired and not looking forward to get into the water, Mind you remember the guy who pledged to sail sunrise to sunset, well he was still out there.
I got out and had to sail to the first marker which was down wind a fair tack, i gybed around and aimed up wind hoping to get planning, at this time most people went back on shore, and it was me and another guy only, Plus the wind droped. I managed to get some windy spots and get planning, this is what we came here for, Anyway I was able to plane most directions and stayed out for a good long time, Until I decided to go back in.
Sunset was coming and only one person remained out sailing, guess who. Another person decided to participate and he took his SUP out,and sail 25km? Well not really sure of the exact details. Anyway, sun set was due at 8:30pm, Dave T and 3 others kitted up and went out, the wind still offshore but steady allowed everyone to got planning for the last daylight hours/minutes.
8:30 or so the support crew (land people) came down to announce the sunset and congratulate them on their efforts, I long day but for a great cause.
It was memorable in everyway,
Anyhow have a look at the website for further info. www.windsurfing4cancerresearch.com
Fantastic to get out for first time this year- and I really love Portland Harbour. My personal riggerupper rigged up for me (whilst I sat in the van keeping warm!!)- and then I blasted out into the harbour. Forgot to check my harness lines- so got arm ache on way back- which coupled with the cold- wasnt that pleasant. However- did quite a few runs- half heartedly attempted a carve gybe- fell in lots- but as lowish tide- was only waist deep most of the time.
Decided that I loved windsurfing- especially in Portland harbour (added bonus of childcare thanks to my parents)- so will go down there as much as possible.
Last time on my faithful F2 Air- as have just bought a RRD Freestyle Wave 100l- cant wait to get out on it....
Desperate times call for desperate measures.. so it was Esso Beach for me today. I did try Pagham first but found it deserted apart from one person out - who wasn't exactly selling the conditions to me.
In the northerly winds the conditions were best described as mega flat and mega gusty. Unfortunately these conditions didn't add up to a mega sail, but at least I got out.
After a second day of North Easterly winds, I finally cracked and went out on the pond. Being Bank Holiday Monday, of course the car park was jammed but once I found my spot the sailing was surprisingly good and not at all as cold as had been forecast.
Monday morning at Portland was sunny & the wind had dropped to a more friendly level for first weekend out of the year. I was pleased to see these conditions.
Having had a bad nights sleep (sharing a room with the two boys & a futon bed with a relatively recent nappyless Fini, is not the most conducive to a peaceful nights rest!), I was not exactly eager to get out, but none-the-less I was on the water by about 10am, launching opposite the Ferry Boat pub just across the road from Nu's parents place.
Ideal conditions to properly test out the RRD x-fire 120L, it was a toss up between the 8.5m or 7.8m - I took the cautious approach & went for the 7.8m - a sign of the day before scarying me, or may be I justy was not in fighting mood after the poor nights sleep.
....no worries though, the 7.8m was an okay choice - a tad underpowered for what I'd ideally like, but the 8.5m would have been overpowered, probably back handing me in the gusts, & I did not drop off the plane with the 7.8m, so I called it right, which was lucky as there was no one else launching from my spot to see what others were using / discuss the situation with.....& my wind meter batteries are dead!
A few pumps as I made it out of the small sheltered bay got me planing & as I went out further into the harbour the sail filled up nicely & I could really see what the new x-fire baby could do.
I spent the next hour & a half charging all around the harbour - the board points well, goes deep & goes fast. There were some ukwa races going on right out in the harbour, so I steamed over to take a closer look / put the new board up against some race gear to get a better measure of performance rather than just rely on my imagination - I was comfortably faster than the RSX fleet, not wanting to get in their way racing, I tried to stay clear & was able to get infront of a couple who were going pretty well, may even have been the leaders, & once comfortably ahead of them I then tightened up my course & went upwind of them to give them room for their gybe - I then followed them downwind - they had teh advantage of going deeper than I could - I could have done with a larger sail at this point of sail, maybe I could have gone deeper, but as it was they had me on that point of sailing. I then picked up another RSX going upwind & found that I was comfy holding the same course & was again faster, this surprised me a great deal, I would have thought that the RSX would have easily outpointed me.
So all in all, a very informative session, for a light wind partner to my RRD FSW 95L I think the x-fire 120L would seem to hold a lot of promise, can't wait for my next light wind session now.
.......one last point, it gybes like a pig - the FSW is just so sweet in the gybe - but who cares when you are having such fun going fast in a straight line? ......roll on 7.8m & 8.5m days.....but can we have it a bit warmer please????
Got down to Poole Harbour, late in the afternoon after trying to decide whether it was worth going down - being North Easterly, the wind in the harbour was gusty to say the least. The session did not start well. The wind was looking a little on the light side so I decided to go out for some light wind freestyle practice. Great chance to try my new 4.7m sail that I bought off Duncan, I thought. This was my first time rigging the sail and it spilt it in two places (think you might owe me a pint Duncan!). However this was perhaps a blessing in disguise, because at this point the wind picked up and I got out my 6.7. Once I finally made it on to the water, I managed a couple of hours pleasant planing in the sun until the wind increased even more. Being completely overpowered I decided to call it a day. I'm getting much more comfortable in the footstraps now, which is making planing a lot more enjoyable