Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Summer Wind

Towards the end of the Amihan (Northeastern Monsoon) season, there is usually a "last blow". This year it started last Wednesday, April 1 and may last for two or more weeks, I guess.

I decided to go to my home spot: Liloan Public Beach! Liloan is known for the big lighthouse with it's watchful eye. Here is a file picture of the lighthouse during "calm" days:
I kept following the wind movement at http://www.windguru.com/ and http://www.windfinder.com/ the past few days and prayed that it will still be windy 'til the weekend. Both of these sites registered winds of 12-15 knots and would be enough for my 8.2m Neil Pryde Saber.

At the beach, Mizuki, my pet mini pinscher, checked the conditions for me. Pets are already proven to get the traits of their masters and yes, my dog is already acting like a true beachbum, surfer and sailor. Wind was about 15 knots northeast and very consistent. Chops were around 4 feet. Mizuki seemed ready to face the ordeal and ready to go to ride the board when given a chance.

I rigged my gear immediately, stretched lightly, drank some water for full hydration and positioned the gear to waterstart. One thing great about this summer wind is that it's hot, sunny and windy, the conditions that are too perfect for windsurfing. There was really no need to adjust the settings on the Canon S3IS camera as the lighting was so even and perfectly placed. My brother just took the liberty in taking the pictures.



Interestingly, I just reviewed Guy Cribb's column on "Early Planing" at http://www.guycribb.com/ and applied everything as far as I can remember. Get low, look forward, light on the feet, stretch those arms and you should feel that you are on the edge of being catapulted.


My JP freeride 120L board was cooperating and was anxious to take off at full speed. I was pretty powered up in my 8.2m and was planing in no time. I attached the bigger fin (44cm) and set everything to the normal settings. Hooking in and getting to the footstraps was relatively easy at all despite the big chops. The only thing I feared when "fully connected" was the board might fly to the leeward side. Crashing this way might result to another injury to my fragile ankles. My left side already suffered a twist last week during an intense basketball practice which would take another time to heal.

One thing funny about last Saturday was I kept falling on the same spot FOUR TIMES! It turned out that a fisherman was having a fish net in the area without placing a rubber buoy on top and my fin kept catching it! It could have been easier to jump over the net because it was choppy had I seen the rubber buoys.

I believe it was really fun to look at a windsurfer traveling at 15-20 knots and get catapulted when the board suddenly stops. I remembered I crashed with my harness still hooked to the boom! I could drown this way especially when I keep laughing underwater. Being catapulted is also fun, albeit in another form.

Sad to say, all good things never last. My 2007 8.2m Neil Pryde Saber ended its life on April 4, 2009. I got that sail on New Year's day of 2007 and inaugurated it on the same beach. I can't really say about the durability of this sail because I have nothing to compare it anyway. My guess is that Neil Pryde makes very good sails, well designed, efficient, lightweight and maybe at the expense of some durability. Good thing, the sail still has enough power to get me back to the beach. I gave it a good mourning after for the fun we shared the last two years.




Because it was still windy, I immediately went home to get my gf's rig. Her sail is a Neil Pryde 5.5m Solo, around 40% smaller than my rig. As expected it was too small for my 6'2", 185lb frame. Maybe I just create too much leverage or I have a technique problem that I find it very hard to sail in windy and choppy condition. My back leg hurts after 30 minutes.

I disconnected the sail and played with the board instead. Mizuki couldn't take it any longer and as usual, wanted a piece of the action with the waves. Here's her video with a beautiful soundtrack:


video



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXKV6lxdFGc

Mizuki did have a few "moments" with the board!


I will have to go to Camotes next week without my sail. I actually already have a plan to get an 8.5m Neil Pryde V8 from Manila but the two working days next week might not be enough to get the sail to Cebu in time for my Camotes escapade. The size is perfect for my existing mast and boom so I will not have to buy another. The V8 is a more powerful sail with two cambers and one batten more than the Saber. This might give me 2 or more knots lower in my planing threshold. It has also better top end, hence, it should not get overpowered easily.


I hope there will be enough winds in the coming weeks so I can fully enjoy my new V8 before the summer starts.



9 comments:

  1. You're off to a great start. Keep it up!

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  2. Thanks for putting your Windsurfing blog up! I hope we can windsurf together sometime. I posted on Rusty's blog as well.

    I'm looking for a used windsurfing board, sail, mast, boom, fin - if you know where I might buy them, please let me know. I will mainly be in Palawan, but I could probably come over to Cebu.

    Check out Caesar Finies (NB13) from Bonaire. This guy is really cool in what he does with light wind freestyle windsurfing - I hope I can learn how to do some of it! looks really fun to me. Here's the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wda_ZWQniZs&NR=1

    Thanks again for putting up your blog.

    Jeff

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  3. Awwhh.. poor neil pryde saber 8.2m. Looks like its the last we'll see of it.
    I really had fun watching Mizuki swim:) I wish I had a dog like that. We have 4 grown dogs right now and none of them swims. They don't even want to take a bath!:(

    -jungol

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  4. Hi Jeff. Thanks.

    It would be great if we can windsurf together sometime with Rusty. That would be picture perfect.

    What are the board and sail sizes that you're looking for? I, myself, am searching for a replacement of my poor 8.2 Neil Pryde Saber.

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  5. Hi Adrian,

    Sounds good to go windsurfing sometime.

    All of my windsurfing gear is over in Utah, USA. I haven't windsurfed for over 4 years. But I want to try again.

    So, I'm interested in just about any type of windsurfing gear. You mentioned Manila. Is there a windsurf shop in Manila? I'm looking for used gear at the moment.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jeff, where are you from? Palawan?

    I guess the best place for used gears is in Boracay. I got my board and sails there. Check this out:

    http://www.boracaywindsurfing.com/

    http://www.adventure-windsurfing-boracay.com/

    You can contact Nenette Graf or Horst Lauer for the above sites.

    If you want bigger gears for lightwind, you can find them in Manila but I dont know if there are shops there. Usually, they are just acquaintances and referrals.

    Are you coming to Cebu in the coming days?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Adrian,

    I'll be in Manilla around the 27th of April. If I could buy some gear in Manilla that would be cool. I'll be to Palawan sometime the first of May.

    I contacted the 2 people you mentioned for windsurfing equipment. The one person wants me to come up and see what they have. The lady (Nenette) is much more helpful.

    I can hardly wait to get a good used rig and join you for some Windsurfing sessions. :))

    I would like to come over to Cebu sometime for a windsurfing sesh.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

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  8. Hi,

    Chuck here from Caliraya Windsurfing Fleet (CWF). Are you still looking for gear?

    Just want to ask also if there's a place in Cebu near the city where they offer windsurfing lessons. I dropped by Maribago bluewater year 2000 and I saw some gear for rent near the beach. Would you know if they still have it?

    I have a friend there who's dying to learn but no idea where to go. I offered to teach but I told him we need beginners gear since it's user friendly.

    Anyway, nice blog you have here. For replies, You may get in touch with me at cclayug@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Chuck. It's great to know another one who is interested in windsurfing. Let him contact me so we can start making our fleet here. :-)

    ReplyDelete