Yesterday we had a nice but squally S to SW day with temps in the mid to upper 70's. I didn't get out and from the sounds of it I didn't miss much. The mid 50 degree water temps were just a little too cold to allow the warmer wind to attach to the surface. Unless you were at a launch where the wind was blowing off shore or in close proximity to land upwind of you.
Today the air temp was closer to the water temperature allowing the westerly winds to reach the surface. Unfortunately they were on the gusty side. I arrived at Factory Point just after 11am. I rigged a 5.1 and a 5.8 and sailed both on the 102l Cross. Pete, Billy, Vito and quite a few others were all rigging multiple sails expecting the conditions to change through out the day. Several of us were worried we might not have brought small enough sails, the wind was well above the forecasted strength while we were all rigging.
When I first got on the water with the 5.1 I mounted the board and went to hook in but there was no hook, I forgot to put on my harness. When I got back out after donning my harness I was either way over powered or under powered as the winds were anywhere from the mid teens up to around 30mph. Once I got the harness lines set right I was able to handle it without getting catapulted.
This is the first time I've really spent a lot of time on the Cross and I found it to be a little on the squirrely side at least as it compares to the Hifly. It took me about 10 runs to get a good feel for it. I think I'm going to like the board for moderate winds.
Even though the board makes the entry into jibes feel effortless I wasn't able to hit any, I just couldn't get past the sail flip. I did get a bunch of waterstart practice early on. The water depth was enough that I could barely touch so I made it a point of not cheating while getting the sail and board positioned. I spent some time steering the board in the prone position with both feet on the board. That was really helpful for keeping the board and sail in the proper position for the start. I did make several starts going both directions.
As the day went on the wind dropped off and the peaks and valleys got closer together so I went in and grabbed the 5.8. I ended the day on the 5.8 bagged out and the Hifly. I should have rigged bigger but I just didn't feel like it. I was still able to plane just not as well as the guys on their 6's.
I got to break in my new Promotion 5.3. It was awesome, I was nice and toasty all day. If anyone is in the market for a new suit you should check them out. http://www.wetsuit.com/
I think this suit will work well for me down to the 90 degree rule, beyond that I think it would be drysuit time or don't sail at all.
Almost everyone had on thin gloves and head gear because of the low moisture content of the air. The evaporative cooling was a factor especially changing out of the wetsuit after the session.
Here are the photos.
Click to enlarge
I finally met Bruce the new President of W.E.T.
He was one of the last to milk the dying wind and water.
He had to bring the board in upside down to keep from dragging the fin.
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