Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ABK at the Hole, Survival Sesh at the Lighthouse!

More great days here on Hatteras....

Monday was insane-o windy! And you know you're getting spoiled when 60 degrees feels cold... It was certainly a stormy day, with periods of heavy downpours, but the winds were cranking, so I don't think anyone really cared. You're getting wet anyway, right? I took an extended lunch break and caught a pretty sweet freestyle sesh at the Canadian Hole with a bunch of people out, including ABK Boardsports staff members Brendan, Tom, and Andy Brandt! It's fun sailing with people who actually know what they're doing! I'm gonna have to schedule a clinic one of these days, so that Andy can straighten up my Grubbys... Check out the vid to catch some of the action:

ABK at the Canadian Hole from Andy McKinney on Vimeo.




After work, I decided to run down to the Lighthouse to grab an ocean session. Stuart, Bill, Keith, Olaf, and Graham Ezzy had sailed there earlier and said it was pretty fun (read Bill's report here). So I pulled into the Lot and there was no-one there anymore. Solo sesh... I knew it was pretty windy so rigged up my 4.2 and put on my nasty, wet, cold wetsuit (hardest part of the whole sport). First tack out I made it through the impact zone, no problem. The waves on the inner bar didn't seem all that meaty, probably about head high. As I got away from shore, I could feel some insane power in my sail, so I was kind of on damage control, just trying to keep everything in one piece. Approaching the outer bar, I could see that things were a little different out there... Monster rolling swell was starting to jack up and break out in the middle of the ocean... I decided to jibe on the first one, just to keep it close to shore in case anything were to happen. This did not seem like the type of day to go whale watching, if you catch my drift...

So I'm halfway through my jibe, surfing down the face of this outer bar wave, completely in the lee. I go to jibe the sail, drop my back hand, and the sail just goes nuts on me as a gust comes ripping over and down the wave that I'm coasting along on. It's completely flagged out and the thing is violently shaking the way my old rusted out Toyota used to do when I would push it up to 70 mph!! Everything solidified as soon as I sheeted in on the opposite tack... I picked up one of the nuggets that sucks up right off the jetty and got one good bottom and top turn, and headed right back to the beach.

After a few seconds of a breather, I tried my luck again and had a pretty similar experience, so I decided to call it a day, happily, as everything (gear and body) was still in one piece! I know for a fact that I was in survival mode out there, as evidenced by my hair, which stayed completely dry. It was a "No-Fall-Zone" kind of day out there... Check out the Avon Pier iWindsurf graph- I was out from about 5:30-6 PM...

iWindsurf.com Avon Pier, Monday May 11th

Yikes! I love this place. : )

9 comments:

ralph said...

I'm down with the sickness. I know that survival mode feeling as I am a heavy air padawan learner. you guys kick ass in that vid!

James Douglass said...

That's a hell of a wind graph!

Ken K said...

In the video it's amazing how little body movement you see when the ABK guys do their spinny moves. They just stay upright and in the middle of the board.

Waterturtle said...

Nice vid...love Modest Mouse.

I know what you meant but might want to reword "It's fun sailing with people who actually know what they're doing!" Ouch! No fun sailing with us mere mortals? ;-)

DH said...

Its so nice to know that the good guys get nervous too...
:-)
Loved seeing the video rendition of "duck & view the carnage later".

El Diablo said...

El Diablo venga. Hasta viernes amigo.

George Markopoulos said...

my heart rate increase just reading that description. Ah, to have to the cr@p scared out of you and feel like you've used a get out of jail free card..

Andy said...

Glad you guys like the vid! It's fun sailing with those guys, I feel like I've gotten better just being in the same pond as them! You're right, Ken, for a lot of windsurfing, the less you move, the better you do. Mac, I don't know that we've ever actually sailed together... have we? But you know what I mean:) No disrespect intended! DH- pushing your comfort limits is part of what makes this sport awesome! Diablo!! See ya soon dude (good timing, lots of wind on the way)!! George- it wasn't that nasty out there, wave wise... it would've just been a heck of a swim if anything went wrong... That's why I kept it close to shore! Definitely should've rigged Anne's 3.7 though!

SlideHappySailor said...

Great vid, gnarly wind graph.. wish I could make it up there this year!