I had quite a day today.
I should start with my morning adventure, but I'm afraid that too many words would scare some of the windsurfers that check this blog (windsurfers notoriously don't like reading...), so I'll start with the photos of Hookipa first.
It has been amazingly windy to be winter time, but it's at least a week that the wind blows really offshore and gusty. Tough times for everybody out there. Never seen so many pros missing their jibes...
Let's start from the picture of the day.
It's Francisco Porcella in his interpretation of one of the most famous italian songs.
Volare, oh oh...
The sailor of the day was this guy on a Naish. Since I don't know who he is I'm gonna call him 'guy on a Naish'. Here he's showing a remarkable table top.
18 more windsurfing photos here.
Allright, time for the story telling.
As mentioned earlier, the wind was super gusty. Just like yesterday, I chose to challenge Hookipa with the 4.5 and the 87l board that would give me enough flotation to make it over the waves. The difference with yesterday, was that once in a while a mast high set would come through.
With an impeccable timing (even Josh Stone congratulated with me about that later on the beach), in my first reach out of course I ended up in the middle of the impact zone when the 11.45am mast high set arrived. I should have checked the timetable first...
Anyway, the wind was almost nil and the only thing I could do was try to bury my sail as deep as I could and take the waves on the head. Common practice at Hookipa.
Too bad my mast foot broke and I was left boardless with the sail in my hands.
It was my brand new 4.5 Superfreak! I was not going to give it to the fish...
I swam towards the shore and eventually made it in through the rocks.
Now, just look at this photo of Graham Ezzy (taken later in the day) and try to imagine how fun that must have been ...
The board of course was completely gone with the wind.
It was my 87l board! I was not going to give it to the fish...
I dropped the sail on the beach, jumped in my car (still in the wetsuit), drove to Mama's fish house and looked over the cliff with my binoculars. And I saw it. The wind was pushing it offshore, but the waves were keeping it inside the reef. I jumped in the car again, quickly picked up a surfboard at home (good thing I live in Kuau) and drove to the Kuau launching point, represented in this photo taken yesterday at sunset.
The difference with the photo is that when I jumped in the water with my surfboard to paddle for my board it was blowing thirty knots...
I paddled downwind for 5 minutes. I couldn't see it. I paddled 5 more minutes. It was a mind game.
"There's no way I'm gonna find it... but miracles happen!"
I paddled more.
And then I saw it.
And that vision made me happy, very happy.
But nothing compared to what I felt, when I finally reached the board, sat on my surfboard and lifted my trophy in the air yelling with all I had in my lungs...
In the middle of the freaking ocean, what I moment I had!
I had to paddle twenty more minutes (holding the nose of my windsurf board with my downwind foot) to reach the beach of Paia bay. I dropped both boards on the beach, hitchiked back to my car in Kuau, grabbed my slippers from the beach, drove back to Paia to get the boards, drove back to Hookipa to get the sail.
Not a single scratch on my body, not even on my equipment.
The fact that I succeeded in what seemed to be a mission impossible gave me a high of adrenaline rush that lasted all day.
In fact, later in the afternoon I went back in the water at Kanaha for the sunset sesh. The waves were mostly waiste to chest high, with some occasional head high sets. I sailed quite inspired and I was full of energy... definitely still on that rush.
The last half hour of light, it was me and Andres and he put on a show of backloops, forwards and aerials.
Hermano, if you did that to be mentioned on this blog... it worked!
Now it's almost 10 pm, the rush is gone and I'm realizing that I'm a little beat up.
I'll go to sleep with a smile on my face...