Wednesday, January 16, 2013

St Kilda kitesurfing session after work - watch for the off switch?

Session 215. A snuck in another kitesurfing session after work down at St Kilda.  Pumped up my kite at The Zu Boardsports (thanks guys) then rigged up and headed out.  Lots of kites at 12 with newbies taking lessons, but I got through a gap OK. Reminded me of what barrage balloons must have looked like during WWII.

Out past the sea wall a good swell was building in the sea breeze, and its not crowded out there.  I went upwind to the breakwater then did some slalom turns with downloops on the waves.  Great fun.  I did a couple of runs it but the wind gets flukey behind the sea wall.  Is St Kilda really such a good place to learn to kite?

I did a couple of nice boosts too.  Someone flicked the wind off switch at around 7:15 so I scooted in.  I rinsed my gear, stashed it in the car, then headed to The Pavilion for a rider meeting Cesar had organised for the upcoming Across the Bay to Conquer Cancer event.

We discussed logistics and approaches for the event. A representative from the Coastguard attended and was able to provide some good information.  They (and the Water Police) would prefer if we stick together as a group.  But keeping 25 kites (and kiters) together for 60+km will be like herding Browns Cows.   We are considering splitting into 3 groups - fast, medium and slow - and will also have a buddy system in place.

We also discussed carrying EPIRBs, a Marine UHF Radio, using PFDs and using a lead boat combined with a trailing boat (similar to how bicycle road races are organised, but this is NOT a race). There will also be a couple of "roaming boats" that can provide support as required.

I will write up some notes on rescue procedures for the boat crews.

Its a big event - endurance will be a key factor - and not one we are taking lightly.

No comments: