Thursday, December 07, 2006

Session 15: Hampton Beach after a longish layoff

Snuck out from work as the seabreeze forecast for the bay was good.

Got to Hampton Beach at about 3:30pm and in the water at 4. Fine sunny day and a good sea breeze, quite a relief after all the smoke and fires in central Victoria.

Here is the wind chart for the day:

As you can see, the wind peaked at about 20 knots, and it was a bit gusty.

I did my first unassisted lauch, positioning the kite with sand on one tip to launch it.

Lots of speed, and up and going well. OK to both the left and the right. As I headed out some of the bay swell was quite impressive. I dipped the kite in the water a few times, but was able to keep going.

Pressure on the rear foot and focussing on going upwind and maintaining speed. What a blast. It has been too long between drinks!

There was only about 6 other kiters about, so no hassles with other riders or yachts.

I dug the board in a couple of times and lost it once. Body-dragging upwind was not a big success - I could go across, but not upwind back to the board. Another kiter helped me get it in the end.

I tried the snazzy turn around, but lost speed on both occasions and flopped back in the water. It is tricky to keep up. I think I need to practice the downwind technique.

Then I inverted the kite, and upon relaunching the lines were somehow tangled so I couldn't fly it properly. Eventually I fiddled with the lines and got them sorted out - not sure how.

A couple of more out and backs and my arms were really pumped. 2 hours in all.

A very satisfying outing.

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