Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Burnett Heads

Wednesday 12th August (1h) Northerly 20-30 Kn Nielson's
Wednesday looked good a couple of days out and it kept up to expectations. Wit the low tide at midday keeping Burnett Heads off the table, I went down to Neilson's to see what it was like. From the headland it was blowing LOTS. Scary lots. Talked it over with Wardy before deciding to give it a go anyway. As I was setting up there were a couple of windsurfers prepping to go out too, so that made me a little more confident. It was mostly over 20Kn (probably 25 average) and the extra wind made a world of difference to the fun that Neilson's had to offer. Boosted big off the first wave I hit and knew it was going to be a good session. 

2nd big boost I reached for the wave a little and went up into a backroll. I'd caught myself starting to loop the kite, but since I'd been watching some kiteloop transitions the night before I wasn't as afraid as before. I let the kite go and managed to come with a double backroll by the time I hit the water. Didn't ride away, but was fairly well controlled. So much wind that it still felt risky, so I left that one out for the rest of the session. 

The waves were bigger than yesterday as well as holding a better line from out the back to surf the swell line. Coming out from the shoreline pocket behind the rock wall was much easier to get up to speed and could pretty much hit most waves on the way out. I didn't want to be super fast anyway as the wind was still cranking. Big boosts everywhere. 

Finished the session with a mislanded boost that took the board under me and twisted my ankle a little. I could still walk when back on shore, but thought it was going to be bruised by the time the cold & adrenaline wore off. I had also hurt my hand from hitting a submerged rock and only found a big slice in my left pinkie after the end of the Burnett Heads session.    

Wednesday 12th August (1.5h) Northerly 20-30 Kn Burnett Heads. 
Met up with Wardy after 3pm down at Burnett heads to see if there were alternative launching points for low tide. Eventually decided to go back to the normal launching spot as the tide had come in enough to cover the mud. 

Really gusty on the tacks out to the wall. I'd trimmed right in for the walk to the water and had heaps of power on the water, but the lulls were almost dropping me in the water before the gust wrenched me up again. The kite was jellyfishing a little too so it might have needed a little more air. Eventually trimmed out to leave it 1/2 way and, although the gusts would pull me off track, the lulls were far more manageable and I didn't have to maneuver the kite as much. 

Approaching the wall and the flat water wasn't much more compensation for the gustiness, but the angle was good for boosting left. Wardy had mentioned that the wall provides an updraft, but my first boost still caught me by surprise. It was an average takeoff, but still went as high as I'd ever been! once you get about 2-3 metres off the water, the updraft catches the kite and just rockets you up. Most of my boosts were plugged landings as I struggled to work out what to do with the kite when you have so much time on the way down.

Most of the session was pure boosting and loved it. Still couldn't go all out and could easily get another couple of metres higher, but was high enough to scare me again. Landed a couple of backrolls, but one toward the end turned into a kiteloop with 1 & 1/2 rotations to have me landing on my back and being dragged downwind at 40Km/h. It was the biggest fall and almost ripped my helmet off. 

I was spent about 1/2 way through the session, but there really wasn't the right conditions for cruising so I mainly finished with casual boosts. After coming back in I realised that the camera wasn't on the helmet anymore. Wardy and I checked the beach in case it had floated in, but no luck. I went back in the morning to check the high tide line but it hadn't come in. Went down again at low tide to see if it visible on the mud flats where I had the stack. The mud was knee deep, but manageable with water over it, but I couldn't see a way to get closer to the location without bogging myself. Eventually called the loss and went home disappointed that I lost the footage of an epic day ....