Sunday, December 10, 2017

Rottnest Island and a long warm-up session for the Lighthouse to Leighton race

Session 429.  Today was the big day.  Tim Turner, the Race Director, had postponed the event from Saturday due to lack of wind.  I met with Natalie and Dean to get the ferry, leaving a car at the finish near Fremantle Life Saving Club.

There was a good buzz on the boat, carrying mainly kitesurfers, across to Rottnest Island.  We checked out the ships moored in the channel on our way.

Natalie Flintrop-Clarke and Peter Campbell, race tops on

Kent Wright providing some handy local knowledge

Leaving Fremantle

Once on the island there was some free time. Natalia, Dean and I walked to the lighthouse saying hello to a couple of Quokkas along the way.  Crystal clear azure water, bright sunshine and white sand make Rottnest and island paradise.

We then walked to the Kingston Barracks, the base for the race.  Once there we collected and setup our gear, had a race briefing then took our gear to the beach.

I got there early, pumped up my kite then returned the pump to the back that was going back on the ferry.  It was already getting busy when I returned so I launched my kite and headed out into a sea breeze.  Kent had provided some tips on getting ready for start and staying clear of the crowds.

I did a couple of racks but then the wind softened.  Some foil kites were struggling and so was I.  Going out further didn't help and I was losing ground on the return.  The wind dropped futher and I could get planing. I concentrated on keeping the kite flying as I drifted North past the sand spit and a little island, well away from the start line.

All the other kites were on the beach so it looked like I might have to be rescued.  A boat came and asked if I as OK, I replied yes.   Check out my track log and zoom into the start to see the drama . . .

Then the wind picked up and I could hold a bearing to the Fremantle Cranes.  I was tempted to go for it, but that would mean I was riding solo and might be the only kite on the water, so I tacked back a few times.  The wind increased so I was able to tack back past the stern of the race boat - they said there was 7 minutes to go!

I kept tacking aiming to stay upwind as much as possible. I dropped then got my board then the race started.  What a relief!  You can read about my progress here.

Ship in the channel

Approaching Rottnest Island

The spit

Phillip Rock

A Quokka!

Kent's toothpick board, it was fast.

Race briefing. Aaron Hadlow in the front row.

Schlogging it during my warm up session!

Are you OK?  Yes . . . 


Just before the start

Track log
The tracks near the start are for this session.  

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