Thursday, February 26, 2009

The First Time I Sailed Hookipa 7/14/06

There is a first time for everything. First time you kiss a girl. Getting married. Seeing the birth of your child. Sitting for the CPA exam. Or the first time you get in the straps, hook in, and blast out on a full powered up plane.

Then there is the first time you sail Ho'okipa.

And yes, I rank Ho'okipa right up there with all the other "first times" I've experienced.

Well, from the vault of never to be forgotten favorite sessions, I have video of the first time I sailed Ho'okipa. Without doubt, this was a significant session for me. After all, we've all read about this venue. To say I was nervous is an understatement. If you've ever sailed Ho'okipa, the spot is quite tricky. The actual beach to launch from is quite small, I'd say less than 40 feet wide. You have a large papa reef/shelf upwind, and a rock garden just downwind of the main launch. Both conspire to collect dues from the careless sailor.

This shot is of Josh Stone-same session. Good one because it gives an accurate representation of how small the actuall beach is:

The date was 7/14/06. 5.0 conditions and small waves this day. The footage is derived from Sony 8mm tape that was converted to digital, so the quality is not the best, especially the parts that where zoomed in.

At the time (2 1/2 years ago) I had no misconceptions that I knew the first thing about wave sailing. So what your looking at in the video is a first timer trying to make it happen. I can honestly say that now I'm well on my way, but back in July 2006, I was clueless.

I still get a kick out of watching it. Especially the launch. Get up an go already!

My wife shot the video, and coincidentally, this was 2 days after we got married. She lampooned the beginning of the video, doing a spoof skit acting as an ESPN reporter-ette and I went with it. Also present where Dave Coyle and Ken Kellar. Good memories.

The video is legnthy, so I'm gonna do this in two posts. Check back later for part two. Heres the first part:

Part 2:

Here is part 3:

Andy, have a blast in Maui next week! You only get your first time once, so make it a good one. Toss a forward off that first perfect blue ramp at Hookipa! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh..........

Looks like tomorrow is gonna rock. Ken, are you in?

One other item of note: today live2sail recorded its 20,000 page load! That visitor came from Germany. This bloging deal is really amazing in terms of how like minded people can connect and interact. I've made friends with folks in Australia, Norway, Maui, and many other places. It frankly blows blows me away...Thanks to everyone who visits! The traffic and more importantly the comments inspires me to keep it going. Here's to the next 20,000!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Venue Day On The Delmarva

session one: Tower Road

session two: Lewes, Main Beach

All photography by Janis Markopoulos

Chalk up another day of great sailing here on the Delmarva. That makes four consecutive days on the water..Unprecedented! Sunday I was blessed with a two venue day.

The first session was at Tower Road. I hit the water around 2pm. Conditions where well powered 5.8 on the 91 ltr.

The session began under and overcast low cloud ceiling, and intermittent snow showers.

It had been a while since I’d sailed in the snow and sleet, and you sometimes have to squint when the snow/sleet gets in your eyes.

There was one kiter out there, who I think was Mike Littlejohn, manager of the East Of Maui surf shop here in Dewey.

Conditions were probably better for him. For me, the precipitation wreaked havoc with the wind. But it’s all good. Any day of sailing…….

Very holey, and not really what I was hoping for considering a gale warning was posted.
Good tack

Bad Tack

Still, it was great to get out, and toward the end of the session, the front passed over, and the sun came out.

So I was content, thought the day was over, right?

So around 4pm, I unrigged, and as Janis drove the van, I undressed in the back of the van. By the time we hit Lewes (about 3 miles north of Dewey), the wind had come up!

So here is the approximate content of Janis’ comments to me as I’m in back with a towel wrapped around me, “put your suit on, we’re going to Lewes and I want to see a loop, As she cut across two lanes of Rt. 1 to make a quick right turn onto Route 9 – “I’m sick of this tower road crap, it’s boring, and I want some action”. I could hear Stuart somewhere saying, "baffing sucks, AMEN"!

We pulled into the main beach at Lewes, we found the wind building!
So painful as it was, I put that cold and wet suit back on. Time for some action, right?!?! A lightening re-rig and I was on the water by 5:15 p.m. and had just an awesome session!!

As I carried my stuff out the water, I could here her saying get your ass out there, and don’t come back until you throw one.

Click on photo to enlarge

Another nice sequence:

I gotta say I have the most amazing and supportive wife. She is always pushing me to break thru to new levels in my sailing, going over with me the control motions of the forward loop. We’ll be driving down the road, on the way to work, and completely outta the blue, she'll paint a scenario on the water, "So you spot a ramp down wind of you....." and she has me to go thru the move. You know, reach back with the back hand, bear off the wind in flight, etc……We actually discuss the move, the technical aspects. And she corrects ME when I explain the move incorrectlt. She does not accept at all when I’m complacent.

She's always telling me, “honey-I’m sick and tired of this baby pool stuff, its boring for the photographer, I want some jumping, looping action”. And who else but my wife comes to a windy, cold, snowy, beach to take pictures. I don’t know of anyone else’s wife who is as supportive. She awesome!

At this point, it was 5 pm, and the sun was very low in sky.

The wind was outta the west at this point, and that is a little bit offshore, so I choose the floatier board, my RRD. I would later regret not riding the 91, but its all good. The 5.0 was perfect. Ahhhhhh windsurfing is so much fun. Heres to seeing you out there on windy breach.

OMG that loop felt soooo good. I didn't sail away, but is was a good rotation. Very good.

I’ll be the first to admit that for me. the mental barrier is still high on that first commit of the day, but as soon as I rotate that first one, the VERY first thing I note is how simple they are! Honest to God they are painless.

That being said, they have to be the most counter intuitive thing in life, and I can't come up with one single example, from some other endeavor, that is analogous.
Amazing contrast to go from baffing at Tower to litski and ballistic floaty airs at Lewes! I was stoked!

So by 5.30pm I was lit, and wishing I had used the JP 91.

I was hitting nice floaty jumps, and big splash downs.

By 6.15, the sun was way down over the horizon, and as difficult as it was to call it quits, prudence dictated I call it a day.

It was kinda cool, as I was coming in, I could the camera flash going off as she was taking pics.

I had to sail down to the eastern end of the parking lot. That off shore wind prevented me from sailing back to where I launched from. No worries, Janis just drove the van over to that side, and found me grinning ear to ear, and she was grinning too cuz She had got the shot, albeit a smidge early in the rotation.

Andy, Bill, Keith, Stuart, You guys inspire me, and I can’t wait to come down and sail with you guys this spring!

February has simply kicked ass. The best February I’ve ever had here on the east coast. Hey, spring is just a few weeks away!