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Windsurfing

Written on: Wednesday February 28th, 2007

A journal entry from: The long flight away from home.

Windsurfing 

On my second day in Australia I found my self a windsurfing shop, and picked myself up some gear for the year. I managed to find a nice second hand 100L board and two sails, as well as a new mast and boom for a very reasonable price.

 

There was just one problem, I had no place to put all this equipment.

The next week seemed to go by so slow, I had all this gear with my name on it sitting in a shop 500m away from the beach but no funds transferred to actually pay for it nor a place to put my gear. To make matters even worst, the next 3 days or so were extremely windy and I was forced to be on the side line as a spectator.

 

Things weren?t looking to good for me, I really needed to get a locker at the sailing club

And it turned out that there was a waiting list for lockers. Long story short, I sat through

an exceptionally boring general meeting at the club, and explained my situation to the guy in charge of the lockers and there just so happened to be someone who hadn?t paid their dues, and voila I had myself my very own locker only meters away from the water.

 

After 3 trips between the store and the club, I finally had all my gear at the beach and although it wasn?t that windy, it had been a long 3 months without being on the water. So I rigged up in a rush and hit the water, I started to slowly cruise out away from the beach in excitement, only then to realize that there were jellyfish everywhere!!! I had been warned that they had jellyfish in and around the bay, but never did I ever imagine that I would have seen a couple hundred of them within a half-hour. I?ll tell you, its pretty good motivation to learn to get your turns down and stay on the board.

 

The next two times out on the water were nothing spectacular. However, then came along the weekend which was nothing short of stellar conditions (in my eyes). Saturday afternoon I sailed for 4h in a nice 20 knot seabreeze, got some nice jumps in, as well as my first tabletops (where you turn the board perpendicular to your direction and back all while floating in the air). I also experienced my first jellyfish stings on Sat. while waterstarting (these are not poisons jellyfish, they leave a burning/itchy sensation on the touched area for about 15-20 minutes.) However, I assume that if one touched a jelly for a prolonged length of time that it could be rather discomforting.

 

The next day, the local board store ?RPS? had organized a fun race for the afternoon. The idea was to see how many laps you could do of a 500m course in one hour. I signed up for the event and rigged up. The wind was blowing a constant 25 knots gusting to 30. I have to say I was a little nervous. We had a skippers meeting on the beach and there were about 35 people racing, plus about another 15 to 20 guys just surfing around. During the meeting they started to talk about how they hoped not to many people would get hit by others and that they wanted everyone to respect each other since they did not want anyone to get a limb sliced off by a fin or to get a board in the face. This is when I started to feel real nervous.

 

Everyone went and picked up their rigs and prepared to sail down the beach to the starting area. I grabbed my rig and started to make my way out past the shore break. On my way out people were blasting by me left right and center, with one guy jumping high enough to literally go over me. This is when I knew that I was not prepared for the task ahead (since I had only previously sailed in such conditions only a few times in my life, and not in a race) and decided to just enjoy the conditions and not participate in the race. 

 

It was a great day on the water with some good jumps, a few tabletops and some fairly unsuccessful gybing and wave riding attempts (got worked by a few). It was just awesome to see 50+ ppl out enjoying the sport and throwing down.

 

I look forward to continuing to improving my skills on the water and finally going for some forward loops!

 

Cheers!

 

From Bryan Rite on Feb 28th, 2007

Wow, great post! Sounds like a fantastic time. My favourite part is that one of your biggest problems is not being able to go wind surfing!