Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mentone then downwinder to Dalgety Road

Session 132, 19 March 2011

Kite: Noise 12
Wind: 20 knots, E
Location: Mentone to Watkins Bay (Dalgety Road)
Time: 6:00 to 7:30 (1h)
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

A nice easterly sprang up at 6pm as forecast.  Rather than driving to Altona, we decided to try Mentone.  The wind has arrived by the time we got there.  We had some nice kiting for about 30 minutes.  The bay swell does not get big here in an easterly.  Going out there are nice small waves which are great for launching a jump off or doing a backroll.  Coming back in is very fast.

I decided to try some backrolls.  I made it around on the first one, but stopped moving with the kite flying in the opposite direction.  I made it around on a second attempt.  This is the first good backroll I think I have done.  It is daunting committing to the move.  I flung my head to the left and launched off a small wave.  The landing was a bit flat, sort of on my bum.  Its a great feeling completing one, and in my case a bit overdue.

I did a third backroll as Stuart whizzed past, he was able to provide independent confirmation that I had succeeded.

I did some toeside riding in the brisk wind.  I had to depower the kite a bit too as the stronger gusts were a bit overpowering.

I did some big jumps too; the biggest to date I think.  I landed most well but swung like a pendulum under one and landed half on my vest.

Then we decided to do a downwinder to Ricketts point.  It was a bit weird getting going downwind and out of the "upwind tacking" groove.  All the more reasons to do downwinders!  I was able to practice carved turns to toeside, ride toeside, the fast carve back to heelside.  Turning the kite quickly seems to help, as long as you turn it before you turn the board.  I lost my board a couple of times when I got pulled off it while turning, but was able to body drag upwind to get it.

Its a nice little tour.  We arrived at South Ricketts (also known as Dalgety Road) to find several kiters and windsurfers all on fast tacks having a good time.  The reef to the west looms large however.

All in all, a great session.  9 out of 10.  We were in the right place at the right time.

We walked to a nearby friend's house after we packed our kites and loaded them in his car with our other gear.  He then gave us a lift back to Stuart's car - a distance of about 2.5km.

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