Friday, January 09, 2009

boards from the past + humongous swell on the horizon

1 11 09: Post update.
I emailed Jimmy Lewis about that red board and that's what he replied (thanks Jimmy):

Hi Giampaolo, Thanks for sending that. That red board was MY board that I rode in Fuerta Ventura when Pascal Maka, Eric Beale, Fred Haywood and myself broke the absolute world speed record previously held by Crossbow. I did 36.31 knots in that event and was number 3 in the world at that time.
Thanks and aloha, Jimmy

I did a little research on that and here's an abstract I took from this article on Boards magazine.

1986, July 21st – Sotavento, Fuerteventura – Windsurfing becomes the fastest sailing sport in the world as Pascal Maka breaks the fourteen year dominance of Crossbow II with a speed of 38.86kts on a Jimmy Lewis board and Gaastra sail. Three others also break the record: Eric Beale (36.73), Jimmy Lewis (36.31) and Fred Haywood (36.13).

I told you guys that there was some history in there!


Allright, I'm still out of the water for this damn cold, so I found the time for this post.

For some reasons that I can't explain (so please, don't ask details), I lately had the opportunity to visit what I would not hesitate to call an historical site in Maui.

How's that pile of history?

And now some close ups. Twin fin speed board... to make it looser in the waves??!!

Speed board with built-in (and slowing-down) speed meter. I guess there were no GPS back then...

Another unbelievable speed shape. Good luck with the jibes on that one!

I remember I saw that red Jimmy Lewis on some magazine back then, but I can't remember why, and who used it... can anybody help?

And what about this one? You can see there is a fin box in there... what happened, did the shaper die?

Nobody uses these asymmetrical anymore...

Wrong! This guy sails Kanaha all the times. Notice the mylar sail and the original boom!

I like symmetrical shapes better.

Allright, let's talk forecast.
Here's what the NOAA site says for Oahu:
Outlook through Wednesday Jan 14: the current west northwest swell will continue to decline into the weekend. A new advisory level northwest swell is expected to arrive on Sunday, peak early Monday, then slowly lower through Tuesday. A humongous northwest swell is expected to arrive Tuesday night and peak on Wednesday at very high levels.

Humongous?!?! I never read anything like that on that site! With Pat Caldwell on vacation they must be trying to keep up the entertaining factor...
Are they right? I think they are about the size, but on a wrong day!
Have a look at the modelled map for Thursday 15, in fact.

Many factors have to simultaneously contribute for a giant swell in Hawaii. Here are some of the most important:
1) the fetch has to be long and wide
2) the fetch has to be captured (moving at the same speed and in the same direction of the swell it's generating, so that it keeps pushing the same growing seas)
3) the wind in the fetch must be extremely strong
4) the fetch has to be close enough to the islands to minimize the energy dissipation
5) the fetch has to be oriented towards this islands

In this case, ALL of the above conditions will happen.

Other sites like Surfline or Wetsand do call for a giant swell too for Thursday.
In my opinion, looking at the modelled maps 7.5 days out, (if those are confirmed!) on Thursday it's definitely going to be pretty freaking big, but it looks to me that Friday (and eventually Saturday) could be even bigger! And we'll probably going to see one of those epic Kona wind days at Lanes...
Too early to really say, but port tack specialists (and photographers) get ready!

Ah, one more thing. Since a couple of months, is doing an excellent job at collecting the links to the most interesting windsurfing articles/news on the net. I want to thank Brian for doing that and for the kind words he often has towards my blog.

Thanks to that site, for example, I learned about Diony's latest long video and about Brawzinho's double sponsor change.

For this link to some huge Britanny waves, instead, I have to thank David from the Hot Sails Maui forum.

Hey, wait a moment.. some of the footage in Diony's video is mine (La Perouse and the gopro mounted on the mast) and he doesn't even mention me at the end?!?

I'll sue him for sure.


meesh said...

I also really enjoyed reading the fact that a humongous swell is coming, for both reasons :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Giampaolo, where the hell is that place? There´s enough boards for three windsurfing museums, pretty cool ... the Jimmy Lewis you are wondering about could be one of Pascal Maka´s boards from 1986 or so when he hat the speed title (if it´s yellow and blue or so on the nose) - i´ve been riding one of those in Fuerte in 87 to get into the famous "30 knots club". Get well soo, cheers, Andreas

cammar said...

as you can see from the post update (thanks Jimmy Lewis for the contribution), you were very close...

hugh said...

Hugh explains "boards from the past" This is a pile of 330 used boards I borrowed from friends on Maui (Mahalo to all of you)for an upcoming TV show game. Yes there were many historical boards in that pile. Ultra pintail with 2 footstraps is a board I shaped back in early 1980's in Kailua - actually rode it for 2 days before & during Hurricane Iwa. Pintail with damaged tail and paddle wheel on bottom deck was my converted Waimea gun, that I used in 1981 Maalea Speed Record Even hosted by Hoyle Sweitzer, It is 9ft x 21", speedometer tied to back footstrap. Probably first real sinker sailbaord, as far as I know, started using it in 1980.

That's my "blast from the past"

cammar said...

Wow. Thanks a lot for your precious contribution!

Hey Hugh, would you mind dropping me an email? I have a question for you. My email is on the top right of this blog.