Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cabrillo Beach (inside) GPS Team Challenge Idea

Afternoon Gents!

I'm sure by now that you have all heard/read about Lorenzo's drag race idea...well as fun as it sounds, Steve brought up a great point that "winning" really depends on who catches the gust first. 

As much as I like straight line speed I just don't see how a drag race will work in Cabrillo due to the nature of the gusts IE: Steve was only 2 meters ahead of me and out of nowhere he caught a gust that made it seem like he was being towed by a freight train while I was 2 meters behind feeling like my sail was being towed by a paper airplane :( 

The other issues with it is gear differences, while I know talent plays a big part in how fast you can get your gear to go, the person with slalom gear is HIGHLY likely to accelerate to top end speed before the person on free ride gear can.  Handicaps? Headstarts? I don't see how to apply one in this case.  Piero and I discussed it and head starts just won't work as once again the nature of the wind/gusts on the inside.  

Regarding the race itself, the big question I have is who gets windward and leeward? Obviously the windward person would have the advantage as he can sling shot while the leeward person's sling shot wouldn't be as successful.  You would also need to have a defined windward/leeward boundary at the finish and we all know how the lifeguards feel about unofficial buoys.  

The main issue I see though is that we are all free riders by definition.  We sail because we love the adrenaline rush of being dragged by nature across water at incredibly dangerous speeds!  On the day of the drag race we would have to wait our turns to go out and "race".  Who likes sitting on the beach getting sand tossed at them by 20mph winds? I would rather be sailing :D. 

NOW with that all said, I’ve been thinking about how we as the “insiders” can do something fun and competitive at the same time.  After much thought, phone calls, and googling (while at work) I’ve come to the conclusion that a GPS *TEAM* Challenge could be the answer. 

Now what in the world am I talking about?  GPS-SpeedSurfing has many different categories to compete in.  Below is a list:

-2sec peak speed
-10sec speed
-20sec speed
-Alpha 250m
-Alpha 500m
-Alpha 1km
-1 hour

Now with that said, in a GPS challenge the individual/or team will be scored on all of those criteria’s.  Why is that important? Well with all those put together for a final score I believe it can remove the major handicap of gear choices.  For example, like mentioned earlier the slalom gear will accelerate much quicker to top speed than a freeride board can.  In a drag race that can be disastrous for the freeride gear competitor.  In the proposed GPS *TEAM* Challenge, there will be no neck to neck races. It is just you as an individual sailing however you like while a nifty little gps device records your session.   
Now we still probably have to deal with the slalom gears inherent speed advantage but on the inside (and at Lake Isabella) I have managed to get my Tabou Rocket and HiFly Free to achieve very similar speeds to slalom gear so free ride gear can still be very competitive. Ultimately though, straight line speed won’t automatically allow you to win the challenge. 

Alpha.  Alpha ___distance is a measurement of your speed from a starting point--> Gybe --> back to start point.  So for example, an Alpha 250m speed of 16 knots means I started at a certain point and gybed and made it back at an estimated speed of 16 knots (the speed is calculated by time it took you to make it back to starting point. ALL SOFTWARE DONE).   So as you can see, one can be incredibly fast in a straight line but if he can’t turn very well than his final tallied up score won’t be as high as one would think.  

Alpha @250m calculated by software

So basically what I am trying to get across here is that this concept could potentially cater to everyone.  Those who love speed will be competitive in THEIR classes (2sec peak, 10sec, 100m,and etc) while those who are gybing demons will be competitive in THEIR classes (Alpha 250, Alpha 500, & Alpha 1km).  If you aren’t the best at either IE can’t break 30 knots or carve gybe than you can still be competitive in the timed sections (haven’t defined but thinking about 10min 30min 1 hour average) as not falling in will keep you moving the longest.

In the end, if you want to be the overall winner than you must focus on all aspects of the challenge. 
The disciplines for the GPS Team Challenge will include:

2sec peak
5x10 sec average
1 hour average
Alpha @500m
Nautical mile speed
Distance Traveled 

Regarding the team aspect, you guys can have as many people on your team as more sailors will make you a lot more competitive.   

 The way the challenge *as proposed but subject to change with YOUR input* is your team will be given a time frame of a month to complete 5 days of sailing (2 people minimum on your team must sail on given day).  Lowest score will be dropped so in total only 4 days will be counted.  The TOP 2 times/speeds of each category will be averaged.  So for example if Jack and I both get 31.4 knots and 31.6 knots for 2 sec peak than our score as a team for 2 sec peak will be 31.5.  Same math will be done for the other fields too and eventually tallied up for overall score.  If there are only 2 sailors on a team than it can be challenging as if one sailor has a bad day than that can easily bring down your score.  Having more sailors means a larger pool of high speeds to average! 

In the end whichever team wins for the month can brag if they desire for the whole following month till we name another winner.  Also whichever team wins the most months will be overall year champions.  At the moment I am still working on it but hoping to offer prizes to the top overall team but hey bragging rights is the ultimate prize! Right?

Some things to note:
-The concept of the challenge is based off of the world GPS Team Challenge
-Only GPS-SpeedSurf approved devices will be allowed as tracking devices.  List can be found here:

Currently I believe we have 3 gps devices on the beach you guys could borrow if the other team isn’t using it.  Nestor has a GT31 or 11, I have a Garmin ForeTrex 401, and also a GT31.  Phillip Newmarch might provide a gps for us to use too.  You could also split the cost of one and get one for the entire team but that is up to you.  NOTE: Before you buy your own GPS please contact me!  I can order you a Garmin ForeTrex 301 + Large Aquapac for $185 (includes shipping).  I personally recommend this set up as it is the most affordable option available.  If you plan on getting serious with GPSSS, than I'd have to recommend a Navi GT-31 set up. 

-At the end of your sailing day you must send the data tracks of all participating teammates to my email so it can be analyzed with GPS Results V6.105.  My email is
Note: I couldn't get GPS Results V6.120 to upload data to GPSSS so I'll be sticking with the older version for now.

Well that’s all I can think of for now.  Hope you guys like the idea!  Don’t forget we need to figure out when our potluck will be!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7.4? Madness!

For some odd reason I've been getting a lot of flak regarding my usage of a 7.4 as a main sail.  They keep thinking I'm overpowered but honestly, I'm not feeling it! If the sail isn't about ready to boomerang than in my books I'm not overpowered :D  As the famous saying goes, don't confuse bravery with which one would I fall under...

Simply put by Steve Bodner (USA-4)
"You've got to survive the gusts but more importantly get through the lulls!"


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sandy Point Video by Windsurf Australia

KA Sail domination!

This place looks like the ULTIMATE all natural speed sailing area.  I'm actually surprised (well not really) at how many KA sails are in the video.  Few Koncepts but mainly looks like a bunch of KA Race sails.  Over here in the states I rarely see a KA as Ezzy seems to be the most popular among free riders but over in Australia I guess KA is at the top.  Hopefully that will happen in the states in the near future! *Demo Day in the works for Cabrillo!*


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today's Session/Ramblings

The forecast showed today as being mediocre so it was quite lucky for us insiders to get some wind at all today.  Was planning to leave the house when Jack left as we both planned to arrive early so I could install an AO system on his boom (yay someone else finally decided to get one!/read my old post here about it).  Turns out he showed up at Cabrillo at 11am!  I had to rush and pack all my gear to get to the beach.  Ended up arriving around 12:40pm; took longer than expected due to the traffic around the 405/22 ramp as the 22 has been shutdown in that area.

By the time I arrived, Marcos was already there paddle boarding with his wife.  Was expecting more folks to be there as it is a saturday but as Jack says, I guess we are the dedicated ones!..or crazy.  I managed to get the AO on Jack's Maui Sails Carbon boom within half an hour.  Luckily I learned what to do and what not to when I installed my own which took a few days to fine tune.  Even though I have never personally used the Maui Sails Carbon boom, I believe this boom is one of the finest booms on the market.

Double pin locking system

The construction seems solid and for its size diameter it is quite light if not lighter than my Chinook Pro-1.  I also like how Maui Sails includes a AO with the boom but whether or not that warrants the "extra" cost of the boom, around $1000 for the size Jack was using, that's up to you.  I always hear from folks on iWindsurf and Seabreeze that the boom head is one of the finest but I myself can't figure out why.  I know it requires very minimal tightness to get a good clamp but I still don't like the "flexible" lever/mast cover or whatever its called.  Just seems like it could wear down.  Also after using my Pro-1 for awhile I must say I like this "new school" boom outline.  It definitely makes the boom shaka(during a gybe) a lot easier.  Maybe Maui Sails will introduce a boom with that outline in the future.  Those would probably be the only 2 complaints I have about the boom.

Today's wind graph.  Green is average, blue is gust, and red doesn't exist...
Now onto the actual sailing, Jack and I managed to get in about a good hour and half of sailing in 14-20mph winds.  Wasn't consistent and had bunch of lulls but I managed to get going thru them on my AHD SL1 95/7.4 KA Koyote.  Jack seemed to do well too on his Starboard Futura 144/8.8 HSM Speed Demon.  It eventually got decently strong/consistent for maybe a good 20 minutes. Good enough to where Jack was able to go out on his 125L SL1.  This would probably be the 5th time I've gotten to use the SL1 and now have a pretty good feel for the board.  I am still very impressed with the comfort of this board.

AHD SL1 95 "Jaeger"

For a slalom board, I feel in complete control and not near death when at high speeds.  A bit similar in feel to the Tabou Manta 61.  It was also the first day that I got a chance to "compare" the boards speed to the other sailors.  This is where I am very VERY happy with the performance of the board.  Upwind performance is definitely a whole lot better than the Tabou Rocket and Hifly Free but downwind is where it really shines.  The board just wants to keep accelerating to what seems to be an infinite top speed.  The only thing stopping me from finding this top speed is me!  Maybe with a few more days of use and some confidence I'll be able discover it's top speed.  I would say the only person I had difficulties keeping up with is Jack but I am convinced he somehow has attached a propeller to his board....

On a side note, Marco's new Tabou Rocket 125? LTD definitely seems to be a top performer.  My only complaint with my Rocket 105 STD was its acceleration.  That doesn't seem to be a problem with the LTD version.  Marcos was definitely flying with his rocket today!  Just proves to me once again the Rocket is easily one of, if not, the best freeride/freerace boards available today.

Well I'm off for the night folks.  The sailing + awesome dinner at Souplantation with Vivian has left me knackered.

Till Next Time!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On Vacation! + 31/35 VMax on the way!

Currently on vacation with Vivian up to norcal to check out the 34th America's Cup!  I must say the AC72s, while impressive on video, are definitely something to see in person.  Just watching the catamarans "fly" on their foil was quite impressive.  Team New Zealand's boat was hitting speeds of up to 34 knots in what I would consider marginal windsurfing conditions!

Team New Zealand flying on their foils
I didn't purchase any tickets so Vivian and I went over to the Marina Park/America's Cup Village to watch the race on tuesday (Round Robin 4) which pitted Team New Zealand against Luna Rossa.  The Kiwi's had a good start and just kept the hammer down all the way till the end.  I can't recall exactly what the exact distance was but at one point in the race they were over 3200 meters in the lead!  Well done!   Besides the race, I was hoping to get some merchandise, preferably Oracle gear, but gee a hat would set me back $45 :(  Oh well I'll just buy the 34th AC gear when the 35th AC happens :D.  There is bound to be some good discounts than!

America's Cup Village
Vivian freezing at the Marina

Toilet sign shaped as AC72

Anyways I'll be heading back to Socal tomorrow morning in hopes of getting in a afternoon session at Cabrillo.  Seems like this week is going to be good so definitely will try to get some more time and experience with the AHD SL1 "Jaeger" :). Good news is Jurg @ WindSurfDeal placed an order for me for a 31 and 35  VMax.  He said it should be in some time next week so I'm definitely excited.  Now I'm not saying that the Select SL7 is a bad fin, it is actually a pretty good fin.  It has very similar upwind performance to my Select RS7, which I consider to be one of the best upwind performing fins I have ever used, but the difference occurs in rough conditions.  I always felt that the RS7 was trying to break my legs in rough conditions but I never had that problem with the SL7 (S09 still is the king in rough waters).

So yes the SL7 is a good fin but after using the VMax, I can honestly say the only fin I want to use is a VMax :D.  Something about it just makes it ...special.  You have to try one to see what I mean.

Well till next time!

Friday, July 19, 2013

AHD SL1 95.

2011 AHD SL1 95
So far I am really liking the feel of the board.  It's like AHD took all the pros of the HiFly Free line and the Tabou Rocket line and put it into one even better package.  Forgot to say it's even faster! (GPS confirmed).  Will add more later.  Going sailing with Jack this afternoon!

Jack on his Futura 144 + VMax. Blazing combo!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Adjustable Outhaul - One Less Thing to Worry About?

Adjustable Outhaul on Chinook boom

Now if you haven't been living under a rock for the last few years than I'm sure you have heard of or seen an adjustable outhaul system on some of the local racer's booms and rarely the free riders/power sailors.  The nifty little device makes adjusting the outhaul quite the trivial task (not that is was ever hard at first) since you can adjust now on the water while in motion!  Now I know most folks prefer static gear IE: fixed lines, never adjusting till back on land, and such but I have always been a proponent of in flight adjustable gear.  I use Dakine adjustable lines and constantly always change the length depending on the condition and even move the lines around depending on how strong the wind gets.

With that in mind, I was very hesitant at first at the thought of buying an adjustable outhaul for my Chinook Pro-1 boom.  Odd considering I'm such a big proponent of in flight adjusting right :/ .  Why was I hesitant? Well for one I could never fathom how a few pulleys and some really long downhaul line could have a pricetag of $80. Second, where I sail the run is only about .45 miles one way so if one needs to make an adjustment its not that hard to head back to shore and spend a few seconds if not minutes adjusting the outhaul and other things.  Third, I'm not a racer so why would I need one? I do like to consider myself a power sailor / B&T but being a power sailor still didn't give me a reason to splurge on unnecessary gear (self control!).

 I probably was never going to buy it but you know during summer every sailor somehow rationalizes why they need gear...why I hope I did rationalize...Vivian would disagree.  After much thought, I came up with a few reasons to why one would need the AO system.

1)  It is all about TOW (Time on Water)

 So the whole idea of going to shore (or just dropping in the water) and adjusting the outhaul wasn't feasible.  Yes it only takes a few seconds to unclip the boom and give the line a little tug or release BUT the time it takes to get back up to full speed adds up.  In that minute* I could probably already have done 2-3 tacks.  "Only 2 tacks??? that isn't much"  well in my defense, we all know that every gybe we pull off increases our happiness level and adds an extra day of life to us.  With that in mind, who wouldn't want 3 extra gybes! That's 3 extra days of living! 

2) Sailing habits

I have a tendency to sail well powered up to over powered.  I weigh about 64kg, give or take 2kg, and use a 7.4 in winds up to 20mph.  Call me crazy but if you are wondering why I do this just read my previous blog post!  Anyways, by being able to adjust the outhaul on the fly it has made sailing over powered a breeze! Well I'm still holding on for dear life but now I can make the sail flatter when the winds pick up.  If I didn't have this ability than I'd probably end up going downwind further and further.  

Adjusting the outhaul on the fly!
I also do speed runs so its not to be able to bag the sail for a deep down wind run and than flattening the sail to head back up wind without having to break a leg!  

For me, those 2 reasons listed above were valid and sound so I ended up getting the system :).  I would say without a doubt that the adjustable outhaul has been THE greatest piece of windsurf gear I have bought since the downhaul crank.  I know that after reading my praise for the Adjustable Outhaul, many of you will probably never buy one and still claim it would be one less thing to worry about; lots of the folks at Cabrillo say this.  BUT just consider this, by not having one is it really one less thing to consider while sailing?  I would say without an AO, one would have consider how he/she plans to get back to shore and adjust the line.  You could also factor being overpowered when it nukes all of a sudden.  With an AO, one would just have to tug/release the line a bit without ever having to wade in to shore.  That's just me though.  

In conclusion, windsurfing is all about trying new things! I know we all thought board cutouts, downhaul cranks, reduced diameter masts, clamp on booms, 2 piece masts, and etc were unnecessary but look where we are now :D. Just give it a try!

Chinook Adjustable Outhaul
SailWorks Adjustable Outhaul
Point-7 Adjustable Outhaul

Till Next Time!

PS: I'll upload some GoPro footage later of today's session! It was epic! I'll write about it later.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pretty slow week... On the brightside possible good weekend and demo day coming up!

Hey Everybody!

It's actually been a long time since I used a blog so hopefully this will turn out good.
Anyways the wind has been pretty much lackluster this week thanks to the monsoon like weather we have been getting.  Mike Godsey of WeatherFlow/Iwindsurf wrote a pretty good article on his blog explaining what's  up with the weather.  Check it out!

Jack showing off his Futura 144, Marcos, & Piero

I did manage to get at least 2 days of sailing in.  Not as much as I'd like to get in a week but hey after not going for 3 weeks I was quite content.  I did get to try out the new 2012 (ok old) KA Koyote 7.4 on a Chinook Carbon 60rdm with my HiFly Free 272 +  37cm Select S09.  As most of you know, I mainly used my 6.6 KA Koyote for most of the 2012 season but decided to experiment a little this season.  The inside of Cabrillo is notorious for gusts and lulls and while the 6.6 got me going 90% of the time, the other 10% definitely added much frustration to what could of been a great session.  Nothing worse than coming in for gybe and than hitting a lull.

Why did I go for such a big sail?  I'm only 63kilos and everyone keeps telling me I should be on a 6.0...  Well after much fiddling with Jim Douglas's Windsurf Gear Calculator, I decided to go with a sail that would work for me in 13mph of wind (7.4) as this was the lowest the lull went on the inside.  With a decent amount, if not a lot, of downhaul the 7.4 was perfect!  After a few more sessions with it I'll write a review up on it.  I will say that it definitely seems to be better made than 2010 model I have and the black on it looks great compared to the silver from the previous models.  I also installed an adjustable outhaul which made sailing the 7.4 overpowered a breeze!  Would highly recommend the adjustable outhaul to those who like sailing powered to overpowered.  If you sail just rightly powered up than I wouldn't recommend it.   Looking forward to using the 7.4 and AO system more this upcoming weekend.  Forecast looks great!

Forecast for the weekend!
On another note, I talked with Jurg of WindSurfDeal this morning and we are hoping to set up a KA Sails Demo Day sometime in the near future.  Would also like to try to get some Select Fins for the demo day too like the Edge Freeslam, most of the S1 line, and of course the LFP line too if possible.  The sails will be there for sure but fins, well we will see! Keep your fingers crossed!   I know you guys will love the Select Fins when you try them.  I let Jack, one of the fastest guys on the inside, demo a 51cm VMAX on his Futura 144 and he loved it! I honestly thought I'd never get him to love anything else besides his Makani HahaLuas.

Jack trying out the 51cm VMAX on his Futura w/ 8.8 HSM Speed Demon

Well that's it for me! I'll see you guys at the beach this weekend!
Till Than,