Sunday, April 15, 2012

a fairly big day

I hate good days like yesterday, because I end up with too many photos to post... :)

But despite the abundance of good windsurfing shots, I must start this post with this photo of my friend Ulli doing his famous "the flying mangina" dive.
Ulli, you outdid yourself. That shot is phenomenal. Congrats to the photographer too.

Another great shot. Jimmie Hepp caught Colin and a whale... just in time! The whales are about to leave, in fact...

Before we start the photo report, here's a little video that was requested by an Italian blog reader who wanted to know how you sail out at Hookipa.

By pure luck, it came out very interesting and events filled. I didn't even notice a bunch of things while I was shooting, because of the sunshine on the camera screen.
So here's a couple of additional info that I would recommend to read first:
- for those who have never been at Hookipa, the beach is about 20 meters upwind of those rocks. The shore break can be pretty gnarly too. Provided you pass that, in a big day like this, you're supposed to immediately bear off the wind and cover those 20 meters downwind. Till then, you're safe. But once you pass the first upwind rock (the one that appears at sec. 7 of the video... I call it "the hippo"), you've rolled the dices and you can't go back to safety anymore because the current takes you downwind right in front of the rest of the rocks
- the bigger the waves, the stronger the current. That might seem obvious to most, but maybe it's not for everyone.
- at the very beginning of it, you can already see Shawna in the water swimming for her gear. That is the worse place where to lose your gear: in line or just upwind of the most upwind rock. If you have bad luck (and she sure did) and there's a big set, your gear is veeery likely to end up on the rocks.
- at sec 29 Levi does a sick taka on a the wave!
- around 1.20 you'll see another sailor who lost his gear. But he's luckier and there's no more waves in that set, so the current will just push his gear in the channel and after a bit of a swim he'll be back to the gear

Here's my shots in chronological order.



Kauli, Keith and Levi went out at the same time, immediately followed by Kevin P., Bernd and Kai K. You can imagine that the level in the water went a notch higher...





Dunno this guy, but he was charging

that's how KP deals with people downwind... yes, it was crowded


slightly overdressed, I'd say, considering the beautiful day

the setup for this aerial was very bumpy. Drew did a good job at pulling it off

Kai K.

Timo's new move: wave 360 with windsurfing legend on the wave behind




Kauli. Check where he attacked the lip. He pretty much did the whole top turn in the air


very impressed by Pascal Hardy sailing. The guy charges

the goiter machine


Graham making good use of his helmet


the Dunno guy doing forwards off the lip

Levi aerial top turn (like Kauli's one a few shots above)


JP changed the font of their logo. Unfortunately those stickers clearly had the glue on the wrong side. You can't even see the sticker on the other side of the sail, so I believe I'm right. Still, better than nothing if you have an helicopter coming in half an hour, I guess...

Ricardo shows the graphics of the new JP boards. Too noisy for my taste. I liked them the first year that Kauli joined them, the ones with the brazilian colors. After that, I didn't like any of the following years. Not easy to make a good, original graphic design every year...

When the waves are big, Polakow is for sure number one. But yesterday he sailed, I hate to say, very, very uninspired. My guess is that he was somewhat sick.

Now a few shots from Jimmie Hepp taken from yesterday's gallery. Next three is me.

This is the comment I put on FB on this last one:

I was focused on going around Keith (you can see his foot while he's duck diving) and I didn't see him taking off. But he made sure I would know (big yell) and I kicked out immediately. I don't think I bothered his line (or at least I hope, but for sure he had to go over my wake which is not a good thing. I saw him kicking out in the channel, so he made the whole wave. He looks like Zack Howard, he's a really good surfer. Zack, if you read this comment, I'd like to apologize. There was no intention of dropping in. I'm very respectful of surfers when I'm sailing and always give them priority. Aloha.

And these are my two favorite shots of that gallery: Mark and Pascal. Thanks Jimmie for being on those rocks every day!!!

Session report.
All these photos are from yesterday, Sunday.
I had quite a lot of fun in the early session. For about 40 minutes it was Kauli, Ricardo, Klaas and me (and 8 surfers). The wind was very light, but that's how I like it.

After that it got windier and more crowded, so I took a lunch/photoshoot break, and went out again around 5.30. Was having fun, but did a little mistake and my board got very close to the rocks. Got there in time to grab it by the tip of the mast, but a last wave slammed me against a rock and I had to let go. It was either the gear or a kidney...
As I say in the video I shot earlier, it's part of the game. If you never go on the rocks, it means you're not pushing it. If you're not pushing it, you're not getting better. Or at least, not as fast as you could.
This winter I went on the rocks something like 8 times. In fact, I improved a lot.

But my favorite session (since the last post) was the one I had on Saturday evening. The forerunners of the new swell started to roll in and, I don't really know how to explain it, but being on a wave that has so much room in front of it (18 seconds period), it's just a magic feeling. I gave that session a 9.
Sunday's sessions were both a 8, so no complains in the 808.

Napoli' America's cup.
In my beautiful home town of Naples the America's cup sailing races took place.
I found watching their youtube channel very interesting and I recommend it strongly. The speed races are amazing, but I also liked the regattas. Saw my parents house many times... that's where I grew up you guys. Again, a stunningly beautiful town (surroundings are just as beautiful). I don't miss it at all though, because the inhabitants suck ... oh, and there's no ground swells!

Studio in Kuau for rent.
Also this year I'm going to Indo. I'm looking for a single person who is interested in sub renting my studio in Kuau. Info:
- dates: May 29 to July 11
- rent is $750/month. If you rent it for the whole period, the prorated rent will be $1,000. If you need it for less than a month, it will be $750, no matter how short the period is.
- if needed, I can rent out also my station wagon.
- house rules: no parties. no noise after 9pm. only one car parked over night. The occasional overnight guest can park the car at the ex Kuau Mart parking, which is extremely close
- the studio has a mini fridge, a two hot plates burner, an electric grill, electric oven, rice cooker, toaster, blender, fruit squeezer. I can cook some seriously delicious food with what's in there.
- shower is open air outside
- bathroom is outside, but not open air! :)

Here are some photos.
front door is on the left. bathroom door is in front, board rack in on the right. the subrenter can use the bicycle, but not my boards!

my studio is on the left. the wooden thing on the left is the open air shower. the garden table is mine. the palms separate the lawn from the one belonging to the other studio you see in the back

this one is taken from the lawn belonging to the other studio


Lastly, I'm selling an SUP Kazuma 9.3x27.5 for $350. Here's the craigslist ad.


Anonymous said...

I saw the wave with you and the surfer, he tore the wave to pieces, i wouldn't worry! You kicked out straight away like a true gent!
Got 2 more 360's today but must have tried 100!
see you manana!

(Ben) Jamin Jones said...

GP, next rock question. Since you seem to have some experience here - what to do when you inevitably find your gear headed for the rocks? I've been told and seen some folks give it up and swim to the lee of the rocks, climb out there and walk around & get the gear from the land/dry side of the rocks. I've seen others manage swim their gear back out and get away unscathed. I've seen gear on the rock broken to pieces and the same day other gear emerge untouched. Anyway any tips appreciated.

cammar said...

Ben, unortunately I can only say that each case is different.
My rule is that, ONCE I'M 100% SURE THAT THE GEAR IS ON THE ROCKS, I completely disregard it and only focus on trying not to get hurt/cut.
If you try to hang on it in order to minimize the gear damage, you'll probably achieve the opposite result and get hurt in the meantime.