Monday, August 31, 2009

There we go, the Hookipa show is on again! Part 4 + The Hookipa Rockstar Contest

What a day!

To summarize today's conditions I could just report Josh Stone's comment while exiting the water with his proverbially beautiful smile.
"Man, that was some fun windsurfing!"... he was visibly stoked.
Instead, I will also add the usual bunch of pics and words. You guys lucky...

The photo of the day goes to a nice bottom turn by Keith Teboul.

Here's the other ones in chronological order.

Andres rescued my gear from the rocks (see session report at the end of this post), so I wanted to thank him with some nice shots.

Not a difficult task, since he's a damn good sailor (and a hell of a guy).

This move has always fascinated me (carving 360 on a wave and backwind wave ride with the feet in the footstraps... anyone knows if it has a name?). Robby and Sean Ordonez are the ones that do it best (Robby with more power, Sean with more style). Last week, when the waves were smaller, I finally pulled one out. I'm overly stoked to be now able to do something that a few years ago seemed like impossible to me. Now I have to do it on a big wave...


Philippe is sailing great.


Nico is famous for his backloops, but he also has a great timing for the aerials.

Sweet table top by Andres.




Robby, late phase of a push loop.

KP, taka on the lip.

Robby, early phase of a front loop.

My sessions report.
When I got to Hookipa around 2, it wasn't as big as I thought. Not mast high for sure (maybe the occasional freak set). Still solid head to logo high, but nicely spaced out and with occasional lulls. Despite the strong wind there were some smooth sections, specially the last bowl right in front of the rocks.
"Damn", I thought. "That looks really fun! I might have to go sail that!"
So I did and everything was going great. I was sailing smart and safe and was having a blast. Until I met a tempting head high section that was perfect for an aerial.
"Da hell, I'll go for it, otherwise when am I going to learn?"

On a smaller day, that's when I'm going to learn, dammit!
Clearly I didn't land the aerial and clearly the next 4-5 waves pushed me right on the rocks. No cuts, no dings: stoked!

Plus, I got the first point of the season. The guys at Kuau every year have the Kuau Cup to celebrate the sailor that doesn't sail back to the launching point most times in that season.
Inspired by them, this year I'm going to start the Hookipa Rockstar Contest. From this swell to the end of the season (we'll see when that'll be), if you guys want to compete, please send me (email on the right column of this blog) the date of your day as a rockstar (that'll be when you go on the rocks). Photographic evidence would be appreciated (and eventually published).
I'll soon start publishing the ranking under the ads on the right column of this blog. I also just created a facebook group. It's completely open anyone can post rock updates, photos, videos. Post your rockstar day there and I'll update the rankings on this blog.
Please help me spread the word, tell all your friends, post it on your blog if you have one.

After the rocks, I sat to take photos for a while and after that, despite the fact that the swell was visibly starting to drop, I went to Kanaha for a mellow sunset session.
A bit too windy for my taste, but waist to head high waves made for a fun sesh. After you've sailed Hookipa for a while, riding the waves at Lowers feels like a piece of cake. So much fun to finally aim for that lip without any fear at all. I stayed out till 7 and I was missing a couple of sunset regulars that are temporarily off island: Glenn and Juan. I dedicate this post to them, hoping to see both of them soon again on those waves.

Here's my tomorrow's plan (Tuesday):
- (try to) wake up early.
- do laundry
- finish packing and boxing everything in my studio
- move from studio A to studio B on the same property
- clean up studio A
- set up studio B
- pack for the italy trip
- pick up the person who is going to subrent my new studio when I'm away (3pm at the airport)
- go back home, show him everything, empty the car from all my gear (he's going to use my car too), take a shower and go to the airport again to catch a 6.40pm flight to start the LOOONG trip to Italy.

Do you guys think I will be able to squeeze in a sailing session? I almost hope that the waves will be gone, not to be tempted... but I know that they will be smaller, but still there. We'll see.

Any which way, I'm not too worried because - I swear to god - I just received this text from my buddy Nino in Rome:
"I guess you must already have a boarding card, since the wave forecast looks pretty good over here in this coming week..."

No way, I can't be that lucky! Oh well, I went to check and looks like I can...

This map shows the wave height and direction for Sunday September 6th. That's clearly a strong Mistral (NW wind) episode. My luck goes beyond human comprehension. I'm speechless.

PS. Check this out. Thanks Patrick for the link.


Anonymous said...

Great on pushing harder - sorry for the rocks but it looks like you got off without a scratch...

Le Mistral - I sailed that wind in Marseille in France when I was a kid - is it as strong and gusty in Italy as it is in France?

I bet you get go windswell down there...

Hope all is well.


cammar said...

Yo Alex,

no the Mistral (maestrale in italian) is not as strong and gusty as in Marseille. Over there it gets funnelled in the huge Rhone valley and blows super strong and offshore (hence gusty).
In Italy it's mostly sideshore all along the western coast of the boot. It's laso particularly strong on the west coast of Sardinia, where the waves in places like Capo Mannu can be just as big/good as Hookipa. Google it and you'll see!
I've sailed there on a mast high day many years ago (when I was in the super kook category) and guess what... I went on the rocks! It's like a talent I have...
BTW, those rocks were way worse than the Hookipa ones.

TonyWind said...

Well, one can see from your map that Western Sardinia is going to rock!
But were are going exactly, Naples or Sardinia?

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I had heard about Sardinia but did not know it got that big or that good...

I knew about France because I grew up in that area and learned how to sail there.

On the rocks... well I have a theory - that's the law of averages. If you have good waves, then the wind has to be gusty and there has to be rocks. If you have good wind and a sandy beach then there are no waves...

But if you find a place with a nice sandy beach, nice clean waves, side off shore steady winds (not too strong) and some good looking girls - let me know where it is please... :)

I enjoy the blog. See you on Maui soon for the winter.


Mark W said...

April 20th AKA "4/20" and Mark J's birthday bash is the official Kuau Cup season end date

Maybe the same for the "rockstar" edition?

benjaminpink said...

thanks for all the great photos. Have a good time in Italy.

just curious, what is the board Keith Tebuol is riding ? I know it is a custom Quatro but the shape is interesting...shorter and that a twin fin?

Wind obsessor said...

GP, I love your idea of The Hookipa Rockstar Contest but you could extend it to be global - why not go for whoever gets washed up on the rocks the most times in a year anywhere in the world? On my blog - you'll see pics of my best buddy Phil making a trip to the rocks here in Guernsey and a very fuzzy pic of him celebrating his achievement back on dry land. Extend the Rockstar search - go global - you're onto something!!

cammar said...

I'm going to Naples. I could get on a ferry for Sardinia, but I come here (I'm writing from Naples) to spend some time with my parents... da hell I'll stay home!

the rocks at Hookipa is one of the factor that eventually keep the number of people down on the big days. Going on the rocks is part of the Hookipa experience. And now, it's even better, because you get a point for the rockstar contest! In other words, I'm totally ok with them. Email me if you need car/accomodation/gear.

I thought about that. The thing is that after 4/20 the waves are usually small enough not to score many more points for the Kuau cup, but they can still big enough to go on the rocks at Hookipa.
Sure it would be good to join the two award ceremonies, but I have to discuss that with the Kuau cup organizing committee.

Keith's board is a quad. I believe that in a couple of months the first production ones might be available.

the global rockstar contest would be a bit unfair, since the conditions wouldn't be the same for everyone. But everyone is welcome to go ahead and put a comment on the facebook page everytime you go on the rocks... anywhere in world. Why not?

craig said...

gp, AFAIK the kuau cup season commenced 2009-04-21. enthusiastic sam scored a couple points shortly thereafter, possibly the earliest points ever scored?