Friday, July 31, 2009

A windy end of July

The end of July has brought juicy 5.0-5.5 conditions to the Island. A rainy morning turned into a sunny afternoon with a strong SW breeze powered by an approaching cold front.
As usual a busy afternoon at work made me miss most of it. When I could finally hit the water it was about 4:30pm and the wind speed had reached 25-30mph. I brought the GoPro with me but with much improvisation, the mount being not very reliable. Again, the battery life was short (need to test it at home) and I missed some action messing with the start/stop button. For fun I put together this short video. Hope it is not too boring and you can appreciate the speed of the board. At the end I don't land the jump well and I'm still hooked which results in a catapult....oh well.
The water was rougher than it seems in the video because the wide angle lenses of the GoPro flatten the scene out a little. Also Steve, a constant presence at Shirley, makes a little appearance in the video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playing with the GoPro

A cold front passed this evening over LI providing some good wind and therefore the chance to make my windsurfing less occasional. After work, I went checking the South Bay (Shirley) and the meters were accurate, the wind was pretty weak maybe 10-12 mph. But the front was approaching so I knew something was about to happen. The radar did not show isolated thunderstorms in the area so I decided to rig a 7.4 on the carve 111 (because I hate to schlog...) and just wait and hope to catch some wind before the sunset. I was surprised not to see Steve or James, perhaps the wind was so weak the entire afternoon, they gave up.
By 6:30 pm the wind started to pick up and by 7:00 I was clearly overpowered but still in control. At the end the wind did not exceed 20-25 mph, perhaps a bit more in the gusts.
The other reason I wanted to go out was the GoPro wide I just got. Unfortunately, the mast mount I built in a hurry was too close to the boom. In the little time I was out I just took pictures and here is the outcome. No radical action, but, believe me, for the wind-starved windsurfer on LI this time of the year, this is paradise.
In the picture above I'm happily planing. Here are a few more:

(A spin-out, look at the turbulence caused by the fin)

(carving a jibe)

The rechargeable NiMH batteries (1000mAh!) run out pretty quickly but I'm not sure whether they were fully charged. We'll see how much video I can shoot next time. I saw another windsurfer who launched upwind from me and later was reaching close enough that I could see he was rigging a North Sails with a sail number 7. You can identify yourself if you read this, fella!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nice late afternoon session

After more than a week I caught some nice SWesterly this afternoon after work at Shirley beach (check the Puffin's map). As usual I was too late (hit the water at 6pm). Well powered on a 7.4 and my carve 111L. Nothing epic but warm water and nice crowd. A guy was swimming along the beach and thought I would slice him in two. On the contrary I saw him well and stayed clear of him. I'm myself a swimmer and the first rule is respect the other people at the beach.
I met fellow windsurfers Steve and James who just arrived from Florida with his camper. No pic but here is what the sunset looked like at Shirley after another nice session on July 14th

Spectacular slalom action at Fuerteventura

I like to follow the slalom race action of the PWA worldtour. What a spectacular display of technique from the pros..
Well, apparently the final of the Fuerteventura event was epic. A thousand words can't describe it better than a movie from PWA that (finally) showed an entire race almost from start to finish. You see Josh Angulo coming first at the mark followed by Kevin Pritchard. Kevin does a mistake right after or when closing the jibe (hard to tell) and ends up in the water! The race loses one the toughest competitors...KP said he was in tears after that error. Anyhow, the mythic Antoine Albeau starts chasing Angulo, he passes him and literally smokes him and Dunkerbeck too who was behind him. At the end Antoine pulls a gigantic leap out of nothing to celebrate the victory. Unfortunately, the jump was not caught on video. You can see only when Albeau lands it and the crowd goes wow-wow-wow in wonder. Here is a picture of the jump (courtesy of PWA).
What a race!! It would be nice to know which sail size Angulo, Albeau and Dunkerbeck were using respectively. I suspect Antoine was holding down (he is a powerhouse) a bigger sail than Angulo since he literally smoked him. Technique matters also but, come on, Angulo is fast too. Don't tell me the difference was in the board because that's bull$#@.
In any case, chapeau Antoine, you are the best.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not a serious blog

The question is: do we really need another blog about windsurfing on Long Island, NY? The answer is simple (at least to me): NO we don't!! There are already other windsurfers who make a great job (above all the Peconic Puffin) at describing the action on the east end of the island. Moreover, I frankly don't have the time nor the dedication to blog about the great sessions I missed because I had to work or the cold front passed above my head overnight....
So I will use this space as a dumpster of occasional thoughts (often not politically correct), pics and videos of my (rare) windsurfing activities. Also, it is really nice to have my favorite links organized in one page! But feel free to post a comment if you want to.