Saturday, January 31, 2015

Great bay kitesurfing at Mentone

Session 319.  Great session, good solid wind, nice bay waves.  Well powered with my Lithium 9 on the S-quad.  Good surf, some nice waves out the back.  Caught the rail several times going out and had some nice stacks.

There were some really nice waves on the left tack.

I tried some backloops and didn't quite make it around.  Then I did a big one, back looped the kite and landed!  Sweet!

I was testing out the canoeing vest with a cord to hold the front down under the harness hook.  This did not work, when the harness rode up the vest did too.  This is not suitable for Across the Bay - I think I will use my impact vest and wear a small backpack with a drink bladder and the radio tucked onto to the shoulder strap.

Stu Styles was flying on his Nugget and did some really good toeside turns - I think he is enjoying the prospect of these kite surf sessions right on his doorstep.


Stu Styles stylin! - red & white kite 

Stu Styles stylin! - red & white kite 

Birds eye view

Racing the poley.

Ejected and pulling the ripcord!

Watch that reef . . .


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Across the Bay kitesurfing training run off Brighton

Session 318.  After a relaxing week at Cape Paterson it was time for another training run for Across the Bay which is coming up soon.   The wind forecast for the afternoon was good so we headed down to meet and Sandy Beach cafe for a quick briefing.

Glenn and Craig from SYC graciously volunteered to provide us with boat support to do a run out to Fawkner Beacon and back. However, the wind direction had too much west in it so we changed our run to a fixed buoy off Brighton.    After a few tacks everyone was on the water and the wind was a bit over 20 knots so we headed off.  I stayed with the boat briefly then got ahead and downwind a bit to get some better photos from my kitecam.

I was scanning around looking for the buoy and eventually spotted it some distance upwind, about which time the wind dropped 5 knots.  I was a bit concerned about the wind dropping right out so I started heading back after a few tacks.  Initially it looked like I would come in at Brighton but the wind picked up again so I did a long run back towards Green Point then another tack back and out a bit.

Others who had stayed upwind made it around the buoy after a few tacks and then headed back.  It was good experience for the main event - overpowered one minute then under-powered the next!

We met up on the the beach afterwards for a quick debrief - everyone had gone very well.

Some lessons learned:

  • If in doubt, stay upwind while you can, especially when approaching major obstacles.
  • The canoing Type 3 PFDs can ride up a lot.  A short strap around the bottom of the front of the PFD under the harness hook can reduce this.  NP PFDs have this strap as standard but these vests are not easy to find and they don't have a drink bladder.
  • Its better to be a bit overpowered rather than underpowered - when selecting a kite.  You can back power off but you can't add it if its not there!
  • The VHF radio in my vest pocket is hard to use - will mount it on the shoulder strap or maybe my helmet.

Overall, it was a great training session


Friday, January 23, 2015

A demo kitesurfing run at Cape Paterson

Session 317. A very short one. There was some interest in kitesurfing among my relatives and friends while we were camping at Cape Paterson so I showed them my 7m Crossbow kite and the rest of the kitesurfing gear at the campsite.

Late the following day there was some wind on the main surf beach so I took the gear down and did a short demo run out on the 7 and back into the beach then some body dragging in the surf.

There wasn't enough wind to stay upwind but if  I was on my 9m Lithium I think I would have been going fairly well.  Its not a great place to get into difficulties though as the beach is fairly small and elsewhere there is mostly reefs and rocks.

Everyone got to hold the bar and briefly try flying the kite.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kitesurfing big waves at Inverloch main beach

Session 316.  There were a couple of kiters out in the surf at Inverloch on Sunday in lighter wind.  I decided to join them and took out my Lithium 12.  I was able to get going but the wind was soft and the bigger kite is harder to go upwind with.

There was a large swell.  Coming in on a good swell the wind dropped when I was in front of a large wave in stuck in no mans land. I got munched and dropped the kite as the wave washed me in and slackened the lines.  I was able to relaunch it but the camera was out of alignment from then on.

 Big waves, great to catch.  Its not too difficult to get out the back close to the inlet entrance and the main surf beach near the Lifesaving Club was quite crowded in any case.

I walked back along the beach a few times wishing for a little more wind, but finished the session with two really good runs out then back in on big waves.

GPS log

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Speedy kitesurfing runs at Inverloch, 48 km/h

Session 315. Lots of wind - over 30 knots - when I arrived at Inverloch so I headed for the inlet and rigged up my 7m Crossbow.  Well powered up on the water and only one other kiter (Boris) out.  I did quite a few runs out from the Angling Club and back, then eventually ventured over the very shallow sandbar into the main channel over the others side.

A few upwind tacks brought be right up close to a sandbar with flat sheltered water just behind it so I tucked in, powered up and clocked my fastest speed to date of 48 km/h kiting close to the sandbar. Very exhilarating!

I finished with some tacks back to toward the jetty then some slalom turns back to the angling club. Its great to have a smaller kite for sessions like these.