At Last, A grrreat Sailing Sess-shon

Cup Day, first Tuesday in November, I was asleep by 1am and up at 5.45am.

I was going sailing. The weather had not been that great for me for ages- I need a good breeze from the south west, not WSW or SSW, just SW. My younger brother, Sime, had been on the blower a few times over the last few weeks about going south to my favourite sailboard sailing spot in Australia and getting wet and tired.

I retired hurt from the field with sore ribs (suspected fracture?) last year. After crashing out after a catapult at speed I had returned to shore for a snack and figuratively lick my wounds. When I returned to the waters edge for another speed run, I could not raise the boom above my shoulders. Owwwww! “Limped” home 150km and tried to not cough, sneeze or even laugh for a few weeks. I have only been back once since then.

Last weekend- I got out all my speed sailing gear. My board is a a ‘Speed’ slalom type, early nineties. A 5.9m2 course racing sail by Neil Pryde. A30cm slalom fin. A speed seat/waist harness. Carbon fiber lightweight mast. A thin boom. And spares. Floss and needle. Screwdrivers. Socket and knife combo. A few spare sails and masts and booms. Spare board, a Fanatic Cross 100, hardly ever used, as it is a bump and jump freestyle type. Did not check everything though.

All loaded into the latest sailing vehicle, a Mercedes 2.9L van. Easily.

West, entrance more to the left.Tide was IN. 

East, speed course around a little bit more.

Fueled up and left by 6:55am, and arrived at 8:30 with a full tide, up to the tree line, so I eased the van around the beach in shallow water. First to arrive! Sime messaged, he had left the big smoke, would be there in 90 minutes. He was not going to miss much, the wind was sketchy and slight from the NW.

I thought to rig two sails to match conditions, the racing rig and a smaller 4.5m2.

Hitch! The spare masts were incorrect for the chosen sail- too big or too small= ERGH!! Ah well, just have to de-rig the big one if I had to. Marvined.

Then the harness lines turned out to be shot! Tried to fix or replace them, but I was out of luck, I would have to just carry on with what I had.

Sime had a few friends there too by lunchtime.

He encouraged me to ask to try a demonstration board and rig- Lightwind short board (ultra wide!) and a 8.5m2 sail! It was suggested that since I had not been out for a while, I better try a smaller setup- OK.

One run was fine- I had not lost my skills- came back without falling in. Now for that big rig.

I was gob-smacked. As I sped back up the course, I was thinking,

GET THE CREDIT CARD!

It was great, and on the edge of my capabilities, I did not have weight enough to hold down the rail, I could not steer quick enough among the other Slower Sailors! Specially ones that capsized in front of cos they did not realise I was THERE. But I did not crash out, or try any smart maneuvers either.

I want that setup. Me and my old board and sail let me down along with the slow conditions and my own unfitness. I spent more time swimming to the bank than actually sailing. That’s the rig below- once set up right, it still does a good job.

January 2000

I need new harness lines too, they are in the post- but I will not get it in time for the weekend!

Can’t wait for another sess-shon!!

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About tone

Widowed exRigPigGeo 50yr old dad of 4 'teens', is doin' job raisin' kids, misses a lot of things. Family (close and extended) and Friends - an important part in our of life. Likes gadgets, speedsailing, reading (SF), geology/archeology, maps. Coffee monster- burnt out one espresso maker too many. Have to have plenty spare "moccona" in cupboard. Things I miss- Tarn. The rig life and income. A lot of sailing. Tarn.
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