Diary Entries: 374
5th September 2020
Wind Direction: WNW
Wind Stength: 10-20kts
Surf / Sea State: flat
Air Temperature: warm
Sea Temperature: warm
Weather: Sunny / cloud
Max Speed: 18.3 kts (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 14.7nm (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)
Rocked up late as usual last on the field which was full of foilers! Wind
was mediocre and not as forecast - in fact less than yesterday. Quick chat
with the slow riggers on kit - decided 9.3 North S type with the 76 front
wing on the slingshot. I started setting up the 84cm front wing but some
big gusts came thru to put me off. The wing is so slow, it feels heavy as
it canít out run the wind creating drag.
Hit the water 1.30 which was a bit late and went off down to Wrabness but
the wind was poor - off/on. Luckily it kicked in with decent gusts. Met up
with Ian foiling on his Bolt and we went to Wrabness and towards the school
with some nice duels, crossing each other. I had my first massive wipeout
when on a big gusts tried a pass upwind, when the foil breeched, just
careless. Ian later said he heard an almighty crash but daren't look back
We sail together upwind back up to Manningtree where I carried to Mistley.
All the guys were flying in the best wind zone opposite the launch site at
Tweaking my kit has paid great dividends with the 76 front wing working in
much lighter wind than when I started. Have marked the sweet spot for my
back foot on down wind drags out of the straps, which is spot on over the
mast. The mast base is now fully back in light winds and an inch forward
medium winds and another inch in strong winds. My upwind ridding in both
straps when windy is now the same as long board technique, really driving
both legs hard to wind, and just using body weight in or out to control
height. I can now sail off wind - reaching (not downwind) in both straps,
which now makes foiling feel more like blasting on my freerace fin
Although I agree with colleagues, you should foil high for best speeds, I
currently fly high enough to clear whatever size the waves are. Yesterday I
did 19.6kts and today 18.3kts which is not far off most other free riders.
Only the guys with race foils are clocking 22+ kts. So for the time been am
staying low to avoid too many breeches. Had some stonking beats when the
wind gusted 20kts and the 9.3 cam sail was a dream, just rock solid. Will
have to wait for a deal on a 7.8 S type (2018) model, as the prices are
outrageous at the mo.
Downwind is now cracked no matter what the wind, in fact the higher the
wind the broader am going flat out - thanks to Dave Coles for some top
tips, on stance and trim which has changed my foiling from mediocre to
currently very confident. Only the gybes are not there yet - but truthfully
I canít see me doing it with a triple cam 9.3 S type!
Again newbies Ian and Sir James have definitely cracked the foiling
malarkey in a few sessions. For anyone out there thinking of foiling do it
- it really isn't difficult. Just take a few sessions and some flat water
to learn quickly - and get an easy foil like the slingshot or Starboard
Cruiser types with massive front wings - even if they are slower.
At the River Stour today there was only one fin board and he never got
going. For light wind now foiling is the only option bar kites.
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