Thursday, January 26, 2012

Handcam shots at Hampton in another glorious sea breeze and a quinella

Session 166, 26 January 2012

Scored a quinella today. I went for a nice fast bike ride with a small bunch from Wheelers Hills to Beach Road, up to Port Melbourne (coffee) then back on along North Road. I am not anywhere near race fit but it was a great ride.

Late in the afternoon I got to Hampton with a glorious sea breeze blowing. Stuart and Tarren were finishing their sessions. I had a chat to Rick then headed out, with the camera mounted on my wrist using the "handstrap mount" - double checking that it was turned on this time - and it was.

The wrist mount and wide angle lens means that you get a lot of the back of my hand in the photos which is not ideal. It needs to be either padded out further or held across the hand for this usage I think, but I did get some interesting shots.

Spotted a large dead barracuda floating in the water too.

I did one big jump where the kite whipped back and I got spanked hard on landing on my right side - very grateful I was wearing my impact vest - without it I may have broken the rib(s) again! No damage done though, and the camera stayed on.

I did a few speed runs close the marina which were nice, and some toeside riding. This was my second session wearing the waist harness again after using the seat harness to rest my ribs. There is still a slight twinge in my rib but its basically OK.

Chatted to Paul on the beach who was heading out on a Sector 60 board. He said he loves it and its the only board he uses now - in all conditions. He said he jibes it by bringing his feet together towards the back of the board - and that this is more stable than the "feet together at the front of the board" technique I have been attempting. I will look into this further.

In summary, nice weather, great stiff sea breeze, not to crowded and beach and other water users (poleys) all happy. Life is good.



Session Stats
  • Duration: 1:08 (5:10pm to 6:20pm)
  • Max speed 36.7 km/h
  • Wind speed: 20 knots

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bay city rollers - Albert Park to Williamstown and St Kilda

Session 167, 25 January 2012

Another great sea breeze came in.  I started kiting at about 4:30pm from Albert Park beach.  There was a windsurfer out having fun.  After a short tack I followed him all the way over towards Sandridge Beach.  He went into the beach.

I did a couple of tacks then crossed the channel to Williamstown.  There were no big ships about.  I got a little bit of flat water near the Newport power station, then tacked in towards the Strand, wary of running out of wind.

The wind got a bit fickle so I scooted back across the channel, only to be greeted by a large Toll ANL Bass Strait ship departing from its dock.  Rather than cut across the bow, I tacked a couple of times and crossed behind it, finding a big windshadow in its lee.  I only just kept the kite flying, then got going again as the sea breeze kicked in again.

I did a very long tack to St Kilda and got into the kiddies pool.  From the open bay to Bourke St!  It was quite busy.  After a couple of runs I headed back towards Port Melbourne in search of Stuart and Tarren.  There were some big "Bay city rollers" to cruise down, and enough wind for a few jumps.

I came right into to Port Melbourne beach next to the Spirit of Tasmania and did few runs in the surf before heading back to Albert Park.  I mis judged the distance from the fishermen on the pier and snagged a line.  I stopped and kicked off my board to free it - with an irate fisherman yelling at me.  Lesson: go TWICE as far out as you think you need to when passing fishing lines in the water.

There was a better surf off Albert Park so I did several runs there and found Stuart and Tarren having a ball too.  I stopped after about 2 hours, feeling rather tired, but very happy.

The GPS log worked well, but the Contour Roam camera again malfunctioned - it was turned on in the case then apparently turned off when I went kiting - then back on when I returned.  The magnetic switch seems to be very erratic.  Bugger!  No photos of my tour!  Must double check the record light in future.

Kitesurfing off Albert Park

Stuart and the Spirit of Tasmania

Broken pulley - tangled lines


GPS log

Session stats

Distance:41.46 km
Avg Speed:19.5 km/h
Elevation Gain:4,291 m
Calories:2,045 C
Moving Time:1:51:11
Elapsed Time:2:07:44
Avg Speed:19.5 km/h
Avg Moving Speed:22.4 km/h
Max Speed:33.3 km/h

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good session at Cape Paterson at last

Session 166, 21 January 2012

Staying at Cape Paterson for a short beach holiday with my friend Simon and my daughter Chloe. The wind picked during Friday night and on Saturday morning so I decided to have a go at kitesurfing on the Number 1 beach.

Walking down to the beach, the wind is strong at the top of the dunes, but the speed drops on the beach. I eventually got my Noise 12 in the air, with some assistance launching it, and did a few runs in the surf. There wasn't quite enough wind to get going and out further. I got dragged in by a wave, the line tension dropped and the kite fell out of the sky,

The wind was also south east, which was direct onshore, and made it difficult to get out to sea.

I secured it on the beach and waited a while. Simon showed up and I launched the kite to dry it out, then noticed the wind had picked up. I got out past the surf with the extra power and then cruised up and down, eventually getting out past the Cape for a great view down towards Kilcunda. I was close to much bigger waves there and a bit wary of getting caught, so I headed back for a long run ending at the far end of Undertow Bay.

I then returned to the number 1 beach doing a few cautious jumps and some speed runs, then came in and landed my kite.

Its a great place to kite for the scenery, but it is definitely not forgiving. Most of this coast is a "no drop kite zone" due to waves, reefs and the very rocky coastline.

You also have to keep well clear of swimmers, surfers and the patrolled section of Number 1 beach, But its beautiful, uncrowded (of kites) and the water is superb.

Watching those rocks!



Entering the Twilight Zone

Looking East from #1 Beach

Cape Paterson reef

Slideshow - all photos

Map and GPS log

Session stats

Distance:18.58 km
Avg Speed:9.9 km/h
Elevation Gain:2,899 m
Calories:856 C
Moving Time:1:12:48
Elapsed Time:1:52:34
Avg Speed:9.9 km/h
Avg Moving Speed:15.3 km/h
Max Speed:36.9 km/h

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Upwind from Hampton to Ricketts Point on Sector 60 raceboard

Session 165, 18 January 2012
Good wind this afternoon, so I headed to Hampton for my keenly awaited for session with the Airush Sector 90.  I was thinking of maybe doing a downwinder to St Kilda where Stuart was kiting after work.

I fitted the fins and headed for the water.  Nobody else about, but a lot of yachts further out in the distance.  A good sea breeze was on.

I got up and going without any problems on the Sector 60.  It felt a bit like the surfboard (S-Quad) but with more buoyancy.   It bobs around a lot more than the twin-tip like a surfboard does, but it much more stable than both.

I was immediately going upwind fast - these board are incredible for that.  Twice as good as a twin tip.

It took me six tacks to get to Half Moon Bay, then three to Ricketts Point!  No problems with speed, control or balance.

I rode the board flat and twisted it like I had my feet on a manhole cover.  I switched feet for the direction changes, not willing to try a gibe until I got a bit familiar with the board.

It was nice to cruise past the HMS Cerberus wreck, but terrible to see it disappearing under the waves.

I went past Ricketts Point until I could see right into Beaumaris Bay.  I could have kept going to Frankston.  Stoked!  A whole new experience, and a great one.

Turning around and heading downwind it was game on!  Heaps of speed and quite stable.  I was flying the kite high on the left tack to depower.  Its weird to feel the wind speed drop as you go downwind even though the board speed is so high.

I tentatively tried going to toeside which felt a bit weird but was OK.  There boards are smooth and not difficult to control.  Super stable at speed too.

I stacked a couple of times, misjudging the speed and fanging down a roller without leaning forward enough.  Tacking in past the Cerberus I got yanked over toeside.  Shit! Board getting washed toward the wreck.  But it surfed downwind on the swell and I body dragged to it without difficulty and cleared off.

Back at Hampton, it what seemed like no time at all, I did a couple of speed runs then cranked upwind and into the flat water behind the breakwater.  About 10 kites were out, and a couple of windsurfers.

I tried a few jibes too and got around onto toeside, which felt a bit weird, and once reversed my feet but still fell in.  Its hard, but the extra buoyancy of this board will help I think.

I was still tired after Sunday's epic bay crossing, so I came in after about 2 hours.

The Airush Sector 60 is fantastic!  I can see lots of potential for varied sessions and some great tours - both upwind and downwind.

Session stats

Distance:34.35 km
Avg Speed:15.7 km/h
Elevation Gain:10,075 m
Calories:1,516 C
Moving Time:1:39:51
Elapsed Time:2:11:03
Avg Speed:15.7 km/h
Avg Moving Speed:20.6 km/h
Max Speed:149.6 km/h

  • Actual max speed 44.9 (149.6 is anomaly)
  • Distance 34.35 km

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First session at Frankson in a hot northerly

Session 164, 17 January 2012
Its taken about 4 years but I finally scored a session at Frankston.  So often the wind speed reads lower there (maybe its partly where the anemometer is located).  Hot strong northerlies blew all day, so later in the afternoon I headed to Frankston.  Franz gave me the tip to go to Gould St. I was lucky to score a park - there were quite a few people at the beach.

There was one kite out further towards the pier and enough wind.  Game on!

I rigged up, chatting to a lady very interested in learning kitesurfing, then attempted to launch.  The kite flipped on its trailing edge so I did a hot launch which worked well.  The beach was not too crowded where I launched so I had plenty of room.

I didn't try my new Airush Sector 60 board as I figured one new factor (location) was enough, and a northerly might not be ideal for its first outing. 

The wind was good.  I was staying upwind and getting some good speed in what felt like about 16 - 18 knots.  Bay Winds showed Frankston with 12 knots gusting to 15 over this period, which I think was a bit lower than the actual wind.  The wind was consistent - not gusty like northerlies often are at Brighton, and it was side onshore.

Nice clean water.  I kept clear of the few jet skis that were about and they kept away from me.  One chap came off and was in the water.  I offered some assistance but he was just getting sand out of his shoes.

I was feeling a bit tired in the legs so a short session late in the afternoon was ideal.   I did a few good jumps when I was powered up too.

The Contour Roam camera was turned on this time - I double checked the record light was on - but it kept taking photos after I turned it off on the beach!  Not sure what is going on there.

Look!  no poo stance!

Session stats

Distance:20.90 km
Avg Speed:17.6 km/h
Elevation Gain:2,617 m
Calories:1,141 C
Moving Time:54:46
Elapsed Time:1:11:24
Avg Speed:17.6 km/h
Avg Moving Speed:22.9 km/h
Max Speed:43.4 km/h