September 3, 2010 Nuking at Silver Lake

Click on this word weather to see the forcast.  The wind was west at 25-40! I had to pull out my old gear to get something small enough to sail. I used my 4.4 and was completely overpowered.  I started to rig up and it did not seem that strong.  My wind meter was saying 12-20 mph so I started to rig my 6.0.  As I started to rig Tom showed up.  He said it was straight on shore at the point so he was not going to sail there.  He has now bought the 3rd house past the county park at the point.  He said he would never get through the shore break with it straight onshore.  He decided to sail with me.  He rigged a 5.8 and told me to go and see what it was like.  I schloged a little and got past the swim area and got nailed by the wind line and blasted totally overpowered across the lake!  I tail walked all the way across to the other side of the lake.  I tried to jibe on the far side, but it was too windy.  I wiped out and had to uphaul the sail and ripped off back the other direction holding on for dear life all the way back.  We figured the wind was gusting to the upper 30’s.  There were 2 foot rollers on Silver Lake!  I have never sailed in conditions like that before.  I went back in to rig my 4.4 (my smallest sail).  Tom went out on his 5.8 and came back to rig is 5.0.  I sailed with my 4.4 for about 45 minutes still totally overpowered, but I had no choice.  This wind was angry man!  This was the strongest wind I have ever sailed in.  It roared through the trees.  You know the sound I am talking about.  It kept building all day.  Tom could not believe I could keep my board on the water because I sail a Bic Techno 293D which is 205 liters of volume.  It is a big board, but I love it.  It can handle anything except big breaking waves.  I can sail 1 mph to 40 mph winds with the same board, plus I use it for SUP.  So really I can use it in zero wind as well.  I sailed 7.86 miles and averaged 11.2 mph.  My max speed was a new record for me at 27.7 mph.  I could not sail as fast as I wanted to because the wind was so strong I had to sheet out to keep the board on the water.  We took a break to eat then Tom suggested to practice waterstarts in the shallow water.  I am a little rusty with my waterstarts because with my new gear I never miss a jibe and I never wipe out.  I decided since I am going to Maui in the spring I should brush up on my waterstarts, so I took his advice and took out my Bic Veloce (120 liters) and practiced in the shallow water.  I did probably 50 water starts on both tacks and I found I was not rusty at all and popped right up.  I guess it is like riding a bike.  With the fear of not being able to waterstart well gone, I ripped off across the lake on the smaller, old school, board from 1997.  I drag raced with Tom acoss the lake.  We were flying.  I tried to gibe and missed it.  The board was so narrow compared to my Techno I could not control it through the jibe.  I waterstarted with no problem and ripped back.  The gusts were so strong that when I sheeted out the sail rattled or buzzed, it flapped so fast.  This is a fully battened sail.  Crazy wind!  Tom even got overpowered on his totally depowered 5.0 Ezzy.  I called it quits when I could not get enough strength in my arms to go into another jibe.  I did hit one jibe on the smaller board.  The wind was just so strong I could not pull them off on this old equipment.  End result, I don’t like the feel of the Veloce and my small sail is too old.  I need to upgrade my high wind gear.  I had a great day and learned alot.  I don’t fear high winds anymore.  I know I can waterstart as good as I did when I was younger.  Bring on the big wind!

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