Road Tripping

For me it has been:

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Nothing like the promise of a breeze and the open road!

Port Macquarie, Robe, Raymond Island, Warrnambool, Portland, Lorne, Hazelwood Pondage, Paynesville, Point Henry, Lake Connewarre, Swan Bay, Sanctuary Point, Sandy Point and of course Inverloch.

I guess it all starts with a bit of day dreaming.  I wonder what this place would be like or listening to others that had been before you.  Generally it’s all the same vibe.  “You just gotta go here it is the best spot ever!”  ….and generally it is!

Check out the Windsurfing magazines and half their stories are about road tripping with friends

Some of my most enjoyable times windsurfing have been road tripping.  The planning, checking with the locals, checking the forecast, hitting the road and meeting at the roadside café for breakfast and then arriving.  By this time I am generally that hyped up that no matter what the conditions I am still going to get out there.  My last road trip was proof of this.  Big northerly front coming through on a Sunday and I am off to Swan Bay.  Haven’t sailed for 6 weeks but damn I was going to give it a shake.  Get there and Pete Nathan is thinking about changing down from his 5.4 mtr sail and says the locals are all out on 5 mtr sails!  Now normally I would back away and call it a day if I was at Inverloch with 25kts of breeze gusting to 30kts but the buzz of the trip, some general madness and the fact that Simmo gave me a 5mtr sail was enough for me to harness my doubts and go for it.  Guess what, I had a ball, with a smile on my face still on Monday as I recalled the days events to my work colleagues.

Inverloch Windsurfing Club has changed with most of the club members that I used to road trip with have moved to Inverloch(damn you I am jealous!)  and because of that I have not done many road trips recently.  It is something in my life that I want to change!!  So who is up for it and where are we going?

I would like to head to Lake George in Feb/March 2015??  How about you?

Getting ready for Open Season!

Now that the new season is open, it’s time to grab the board and rig out of storage, pack the wetsuit and towel and head straight to Invy right?

 

Whilst this may work for the majority of  sailors out there, each season I can recall being asked questions like, ”Can I borrow a screwdriver to tighter my fin?” or “My downhaul rope just broke, do you have a spare one?”

 

As a club, Inverloch Windsurfing Club promotes sailing in a fun and safe environment. But one aspect that we cannot control is equipment failure due to poor maintenance. If your equipment fails whilst you are out sailing, you not only run the risk of personal injury but the loss of your equipment as well. Here are some simple things that you can do to stay safe out on the water.

 

Equipment Check.

– Lay all of your gear out on the lawn where possible to make it easy to see what is there and what’s missing.

This is usually how my back yard looks in preparation for a new season!
This is usually how my back yard looks in preparation for a new season!

 

– Check any zippers on sail bags and board bags for corrosion. This often happens when the gear has been stored without first removing the salt water. If the zip is stuck, do not try to force it open. Boil the kettle and pour the hot water directly onto the stuck zipper. You may be required to repeat this once or twice but you will soon be able to free the zipper from the stuck position.

Mick Green demonstrates how to carry a boom.
Mick Green demonstrates how to carry a boom.

NOTE ….Try not allow the boiling hot water to come in contact with the sail material. I have tried this to see what happens and although I could not see any difference, it may have long-term affects on the sail. (Don’t burn yourself)

-Check each boom and mast base for signs of wear in the cleats or beans in the tubing. Remove the boom end fully to give it a good clean with fresh water, and once again clean any corrosion if required. If your boom is stuck in the last position it was sailed, you may need to use a pole or a post secured to the ground and work it loose. Flexing the boom arms inwards and outwards may also help, and once again hot water can be used.

– Check all ropes for signs of fatigue. If you can’t be 100% certain that it wont break, replace the rope now.

Check your Uni-joint for signs of cracks in the rubber joint.

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Ouch

– Check your board for any damage that may have occurred whilst in storage, or perhaps something you were going to fix but forgot.

 

 

If your board has a “vent” bolt in the top to prevent the board from expanding in the heat, make sure that bolt can be easily loosened and tightened and make sure you have the right screwdriver in your kit to do this. Make sure the screwdriver is a snug fit.

 

Check your vent bolt is tight before the board gets wet!
Check your vent bolt is tight before the board gets wet!

 

Check your fin is a snug fit and you have the correct fin bolts.
Check your fin is a snug fit and you have the correct fin bolts.

– Check your foot straps are tight but do not try to over tighten them.

 

– Check your fin for cracks around the base and make sure that you have the correct fin bolt/bolts to secure to the board. Check this by fitting it into the board and tighten. I have been known to lend fin bolts to people and I have been caught on occasions when the fin bolts left in my fins are incorrect. TIP Once you have the right bolt/bolts, buy spare ones for replacements if you loose one in the sand or grass.

 

– Check you sails for signs of wear and tare and repair if required. Check for broken batterns and cams (if fitted)

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Check the stitching is OK and make sure there are no holes.

 

– Be sure to have your screwdriver and a down hauling tool with you

 

Bring plenty of personal protection such as drinking water, sunscreen, appropriate clothing for the day and some food to help sustain your energy.

 

 

 

I think something is about to break!
I think something is about to break!

Now that your gear is ready for the season to come, you can sail with confidence and get on with having fun on the water.

 

Be safe out there and have fun,

Moondo

Road Trip to Burrum

I’m always keen to support other club’s events and the Burrum Windfest has always been on the wish list. Warm weather, SE trade winds and a 4km long speed bank. So this year it was time to convince the family that it was time to do a road trip into the sunshine. Peter and Lari were also keen for a road trip so it became a Pit Crew adventure.  We left home at 5pm as Jen had work commitments and just went north. Made a wrong turn and ended up in Albury instead of Shepparton. Opps. Then the rain started lots and lots of it. Interesting having a road train go past you at 110km while driving through a river. Went along the Newel Hwy past Parkes, Coonabarabran, Goondiwindi and finely Burrum, just a little 28hr drive in the country.

Burrum house

Morning and it was time to meet the locals, sign in and check out the area. Katelyn was very keen to have a go in the comp so a quick sign up to an AWA state and throw on a life jacket she was in too. Wasn’t very happy about the jacket but that’s the rules.

Not enough wind for Day 1 and Justin (Gestalt) was trying to guess the wind gods mind and called it a free sail; a few grumbles from the rabble who wanted to compete. (Who would be a comp organiser?)It was time to get wet in Queensland.

Out onto the inlet with my biggest gear, Carbon Art 66 (110L) and Koncept 8.5, this sail had only been used twice before and one was at Lake George for the 24hr record.

Tough to get going with lots of pumping, but the weather was warm and not a wetsuit in sight. Katelyn in as well but even harder for her as the tide was racing in with an onshore wind and she was pushed into the harbour. The 3.5 Dragon Fly and my old Ab Slalom board just didn’t have enough punch to keep up wind.

The next few days were light took the opportunity to do a day trip to Fraser Island. Jen and I came here xxx yrs ago as our first holiday together as a couple so it was great to revisit the places that we knew, this time with the kids.

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The wind turned up and the locals were excited, still light by our standards but very sailable. Onto what was becoming my Queensland speedsailing setup Sl66, Ka8.5, Venom 40. Still no SE wind but with Burrum there is always a bank to play with. The Northern run is a bit like Area 45 with out the curve, lots of brown water too. Burrum usually has clear water at this time but as we had bought the drought busting rain everything had turned into Area 45 brown.

Bounced off lots of hidden sandbanks and just couldn’t go fast, fighting both the rig and board. Ended up having a attack of the grumps. Luckily Pete was around and being a caring supportive friend mentioned something about “Princesses” and “Hardening up” and “Softy”. Still couldn’t get it together so I just chased Katelyn around who was having a great time.

 

We stayed on this run for the rest of the week with the wind getting to about 15 kts with my board maxing out at about 30kts. I was a bit off the pace all week and I only solved the issue on the last day, not enough down haul (20mm)  Top speed was Vando at about 32kt, kicks my butt again.

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Katelyn impressed everyone with her sailing skills and that she rigged and carried all her own gear without adult help. Sound like a very big tick to her instructor ….Joel. She came so very close to planning her board and her confidence was huge. As the only junior in this years comp she cleaned up in the prize pool bringing home a new boom and a ProLimit vest.  Bring on next year Katelyn.

We didn’t get to sail on the usual bank, the water was unusually brown, and the wind was a bit light but that’s windsurfing. We did meet some great people, have a well run and fun comp and see a great part of Australia that everyone should visit.

From Burrum we left Pete and Lari as they went sth and we went north another 14hr to Ailey Beach and the reef for a week before coming back towards home.

In total we travelled 9000km in 4 weeks played in 3 states, saw a small part of Australia and gave the kids a sense of just how big Aus is and had a great holiday.

 

Craig

See many more of you at Burrum next year!

(thanks to Justin (Gestult on Seabreeze) for the pics