Thursday, January 10, 2008

Session 28: A downwinder in light wind at Hampton

Very keen to get out so I headed for Hampton with the wind speed showing around 15 knots in the afternoon and the forecast saying it could reach 20 knots. It was a very hot day so I wore board shorts and a rashvest rather than my 1mm wetsuit.

I rigged up and had a go but I struggled for wind again. The Crossbow 12m kite is rated for this wind strength but I struggle to go upwind and 15 knots. Maybe I am a bit too heavy at 82kg?

The wind didn't pickup above 15 knots, but it was so good to get the kite flying and into the water I elected to do a downwinder to Brighton which went quite well. I was again frustrated to see others whizzing along upwind off Hampton - maybe on bigger kites, or just with better technique.

Coming into the beach I picked a spot with some sand and not too many bathers. However, there was a nasty little reef exactly where I floated in on my back with my kite still flying. When I stood up my leg went right into a "rock hole" and I grazed my shin. If you were not careful or were unlucky you could even break your leg at ths spot.

I walked the kite back inflated, but struggled a bit to get past the first main groyne. Deflate next time, it is not worth the hassle.

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