Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mattias & Ben

Friday 3rd July (15m / 2h) SE 13-16Kn Elliott Heads. Another day with wind for Mattias. Setup the 10m and did a couple of tacks early with a few minor boosts. Pretty light though and had to pump the kite to get going. Swapped over to Mattias and he spent the time in the bottom bend at 1/2 tide going back and forth. He is getting upwind on the final part of the tack but loses a lot on the turn and restarts. Just about there though. Unfortunately the bottom bend was also the most downwind of everyone and other beginner kiters ended up down there eventually to make it a little congested. Mattias got tangled up in another kiter and somehow the kites went between the lines. at least both came down without incident and we were able to get Mattias going pretty quick. Wind died off so that after Mattias had finished there wan't much out there for me. Took the board and kite back to the heads by barely cutting upwind.

Monday 13th July (1h)  SW 10-14Kn Elliott Heads. Met a Spaniard traveller down at Elliott. He'd already been out but the tide was running low and there wasn't much water left. Launched and went over to the channel, but was pretty blustery. Right at the mouth looked the best but covered pretty heavily be a wind shadow.  Tried between some sand banks in the river but hard to make headway on the run-out tide. Popped back into the pond on the way back in and it was Ok, but super shallow.

Sunday 19th July (1.5h) ESE 15-18Kn Archie's. I'd thought Ben would be here by the Sunday afternoon and the wind looked good for a session down the beach. He'd missed the connecting flight to Bundy, so I went down at about 2pm for a kite. Wind started pretty SE but swung slowly around to ESE. Some nice boosts on the 14m into the breakers, then runs down the line with the wind change. Fun little session.

Monday 20th July (2h / 15m) SE 15-18Kn Elliott Heads. Started the day with a session down at archies with the trainer kite, but the wind was coming more south over the trees to be a bit of a nuisance. Took a quick go of the 14m to see how strong it was and felt good enough for a few jumps. Came in ad took Ben through flying the big kite from behind me, but he occasionally got the direction wrong to steer the kite, enough for both him and me to decide not to strap him in solo. Went back out for another quick spurt, then another session as they went for lunch. Good runs up to the middle sandbar going out the front with turns around the rocky stick. Good boosts out into the channel.

Tuesday 28th July (5h) SSE 15-20Kn Elliott Heads. Day looked good on the weather maps for a while and I'd been keen to get down for a big session. Forgot about the tides and was a little disappointed in the lack of water, so I took all my gear over to the south channel and set up over there. The wind angle made an awesome smooth run on the steep southern banks leading to the fallen tree, and I spent most of the first hour cruising with a couple of boost attempts over the channel buoy.
Wardy joined my after the tide had turned and spent another 1/2 hr or so with a bit more courage to try some tricks.

Wardy headed back for some food through the north channel, and I thought it must have meant that the northern mouth was opening up too. I walked the kite and gear back, but was disappointed that it still hadn't filled in. Went out in the shallow northern channel, but it was too shallow to do anything meaningful so I kept going out into the ocean. There was a nice little pocket out the front of the rock bar that wasn't sweeping down the beach as far that made a nice little wave run. I'd built up a bit more confidence in boosting going right, so using that on the waves with a building 18-20Kn wind was pretty fun.

Parked the 14m and contemplated lunch, but since it was 2:45pm I decided to hang around until Ben got there. Took my time putting up the 10m and packing down the 14m aa the wind was get a constant 20Kn. I'd launched Ian and had talked about his ocean rodeo board, so I joined him over at Coonarr for another little session. After he had a break on the beach, I tacked up over the top of the island to work the little pocket I'd found earlier to see the difference in kites. Fell off again going around the point as I was heading downwind. It seems that going downwind in open water has little holes that I'm digging into so I tried riding more on my back foot to slow down and make it safer. Still not a fan of going downwind. Kite performed better on the waves, but not as much as I'd imagined. Happy that I did that test.

I met Ian back at the Heads and had a go on the ocean rodeo board. Super smooth through the chop and really comfy on my ankles that had been getting sorer as the day progressed. Out on the waves it felt a bit hard to lift over incoming waves, but had super soft landings on the other side. Quite impressed. Boosts were achievable but I could notice the weight in the board. Once again landings were really easy. Would be an excellent cruising board.

Finished with another hour boosting and backrolling with Ben in the before calling it a day at about 5pm.

Wednesday 29th July (1h) SE 15-18Kn Kelly's Beach. Another strong day, but an afternoon meeting meant I'd need to be brief. Decided to go down the front (since it was pretty much low tide) and kite down near the basin rocks. Set up at money's creek and worked my way downwind looking for a good spot to catch the swell lines into shore. The pick was off the exposed rocks / reef just down from the basin rocks and blasting into the shallows near the moon rocks. Hit a couple of nice kickers on the way out going right to go even higher than yesterday. The swell didn't really form up into surfable waves, but was an Ok angle. Would have been nice to see a GPS plot of that session. Hopefully watch arrives back soon ...

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Kiting in the Channel

Since my watch is down I'll have to revert back to writing up kiting reports again.

Sunday (15m). 14-16 SE Elliott Heads. Spent most of the time teaching Mattias on the 10m. Took a quick run and managed to barely tack upwind. Some good glides into the new section opening up downstream of the pond, but didn't really do much.

Monday (30m). 13-16 SSE Elliott heads. Another teaching day and Mattias is getting up both directions, although still favoring going left. Fisherman everywhere in the main channel so we spent most of the time over in the pond bounded in by another fisherman on the point blocking off access to the new flat section heading down the river. Even less upwind and called it pretty early to swap over with Mattias. Scott came down also and tried out the new harness with the 14m and surfboard. He got a couple of tacks going in the pond, but kept bottoming out, so he went over to the channel with Wardy and Rob. I also had a go in the channel with the surfboard. Got up and going on the first run, but struggled going right wit the wind dying off. It seems that getting up and going with a surfboard in lighter winds than the twin tip is not so easy. Still hopeful it's just technique and possibly board choice that's holding us back.

Thursday (30m, 10m) 12-20 Kn SW Elliott heads. Unexpectedly windy so we headed down at about 10:30 to check it out. I tried it out first and got upwind quite well on the 10m with a couple of boosts. Changed over and the gusty conditions with more wind didn't really suit Mattias and he possibly performed worse than on Monday. After 1/2 hr we swapped back over and he was too cold to continue. I took the kite to the pond where Rob was travelling pretty well on his 12m. Managed a couple of powered boosts and backrolls to make a pretty decent 1/2 hour session. Went back concerned that Mattias hadn't showed up out at the pond and packed down for lunch.

Went down again in the afternoon with Scott and although we took the 14 & 10 out of the car, it felt like it was going to drop so eventually just took the 14m & twintip over to the channel. Managed to do a couple of runs when the wind was up, but the lulls were down to 10Kn and made the session a bit of a wash. Swapped over to Scott but he couldn't get more than a couple of metres. Went back pretty despondent that the wind was on the way out.

The channel was also quite shallow on both sides. I was expecting a steep dropoff on the southern side, but I was able to stand waist deep ~5m off the bank after a crash. The northern side is fairly gentle and gives quite a nice shallow area for practicing if the tide is pushing the right way. The whole inlet to the north of the island had been sealed, so I'm not sure where all the water is escaping. Maybe we need a big downpour for the river to carve out some sand?