Wednesday, July 22, 2009

oahu days 40-41 - how to break a mast

First, let me quickly mention that day 40 that was below average, both for surfing and windsurfing, because the old swell was on the way down.

Day 41, instead, could have potentially been one of the best if I wasn't such a kook!
New south swell on the rise and beautiful waves up to overhead high. Usual tricky wind conditions. Very offshore, very gusty, very light at times. Difficult to position yourself in the right spot at the right moment, but when you hit that magic combo of wave and wind, it was really sweet.

This first clip is a very good example of the extreme variability of the wind at Da Spot.
I caught a wave during a sudden strong gust that made me overpowered on my 4.7. Kook as I am, I went too late for the second turn and got worked (notice the shallow reef).
Fortunately, I was followed by Fabrice Beaux who, instead, timed it right and rode his wave beautifully. Notice how glassy the water is at the end. I remember it took me a while to water start due to the complete lack of wind. And few seconds before it was howling.

I'm not done with showing off my kookness.

In this other clip, I had just fallen in the water trying to tack and get out of the way of a big set when I saw once again Fabrice charging down the line. Instead of checking what was the relative position of the mast to the wave, the only thing I could think about was to push the button of the camera on my head and film him. So, more than kookness, I'd say I'm now exhibiting stupidity.
Of course Fabrice does a beautiful big aerial (the photo on top is a snapshot out of the clip) and of course the wave breaks my mast. I only found out later by watching the clip that the mast was perpendicular to the wave and oriented towards the beach, which is the best possible way of breaking it. I'm not even going to try to ask for a warranty replacement. That was my fault, period.

Look how happy I am that I caught the aerial on video! Clearly I have no idea yet that the mast is broken...

Now I got no more masts (I broke another a month ago) and the 4.7 is pretty trashed, but I still have that 5.3 that is for sale and Fabrice was so nice to lend me a spare sdm mast and extension (he broke his rdm mast too earlier today).
Not that I got too many days left (I'm thinking about leaving on Monday), but...
"if the wind holds, tomorrow could be one the best days of your stay... I don't want you to miss it and I got more masts at home!", he said.
What a nice guy! THANK YOU BROTHER!!

Talking about great guys, I just received the link to this really good ESPN article.

day waves: 32 + 16
windsurfing: 572
surfing: 338
total: 910
average per day (37 days in the water): 24.6

PS. While I was at it, I filmed the whole struggle of derigging the sail in the waves without losing any piece. The top of the mast got stuck in the sail (I had to use a knife and cut the sleeve to pull it out on the beach) and I could roll only half of the sail. The current took me out through the channel and I had to paddle through the next break downwind with half sail dragging in the water. It was the hardest paddle ever.
The clip lasts 30 minutes and then for some reason it stops (maybe I ran out of battery). I think it took me 20 more minutes to make it back to the shore.
Sure, I could have ditched the sail, but I didn't want to pollute (and lose the top of the mast). Please fellow windsurfers, do the same: ditch your broken stuff only if you're in danger.
PPS. The above mentioned clip would make a perfect "bonus" material for the Oahu DVD... if I'm ever going to do it!
PPPS. I just found out that a place around the corner has Guy Cruz playing live every Wednesday night. Good: I can use a beer after all that paddling...


Sharon said...

Great the last video, that's one for the memory banks. You can't leave Monday as Meesh is planning on surfing her arse off with you after crossing the channel!

pat said...

Shit can happen offcourse, last weekend we had the second lap of the Belgian Championship T293 and with gusts of over 30 knots on a boiling North Sea, some of the youngsters had some bad luck too: Sails, boards mastjoints and so on broke or got dammaged.
Only the top 3 had no problems with the waves and the current.Note that BEL21 won 9 out of 10 races (1 lost due to not paying attention)

Anonymous said...

Hope the beer was good after all your drama.


Anonymous said...

Man - tough way to break a mast. Watched an umbrella fly and land on my sail once - felt pretty stupid at that moment...

anyway - you should quit saying you're a Kook. You're not. You're actually a very accomplished windsurfer. I have sailed with you many times before.

Maybe too many pros around...


jeff E of the Great White North said...

bummer doood.