Monday, November 10, 2014

Wind Shadows

Archie's ENE ~9-11 Kn (5mins)
Sweltery Saturday and I was keen to get in the water after mowing the lawn. Called Ben down after looking at it from the beach as marginal but building. Turned out it didn't build and the kite could barely launch. I had thought that I was getting better at picking the wind strength by feel on my face, but the lack of ANY white caps and only light palm tree movement should have been a firmer giveaway.

Archie's ENE ~11-14 Kn (40 mins)
Sunday looked to be a little better and I was keen enough with Scott around to go down even if it was going to be just a beach session. I went out first, but could barely make headway through the surf with the wind only barely cross-shore. Board-dragged out about 50m off the beach and could get up and going a lot easier, enough to do a couple of long reaches back and forth while slowly going upwind away from the shore. The wind definitely felt stronger that far off the beach, possibly 1-2 knots more.

Came in to let Scott have a go as Ben was hitting the water. He struggled too on his 17m and even board-dragged further out than I had to get a good run at it. The wind might have dropped another knot or 2 and Ben barely got up on the plane. I had a go on the 17m for comparison and, convinced that the wind was going to be stronger further out, took it out about 50m to try. I failed 3 times to get up on the plane due to the kite not reacting quick enough to give a 2nd dive while going forward and not changing my technique to the larger kite. Pretty sure the wind had dropped off too, but wasn't really in the mood to take mine out again as a final comparison.

Last night I'd watched this video about wind shadows. Applying the "3 times height" rule in front of the trees at Archie's it should be clean by the time I'm in the water at low tide. Added to this that the kite should be higher than the trees so it shouldn't really be affected too much even closer in. I think there's something else going on about it being more windy out further. It's not the first time I've noticed it, but it was really noticeable today. I'd like to find a little more official wind shadow video if possible.