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Old 30th September 2010, 11:09 PM   #11
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"They jump more than us;thats what all the envy is about. !!!"

Jealous of big jumps - not true, I almost never jump (it´s true, I really don´t like it) - so I´m not jealous of that. They sail/plane in less wind than ws, that´s the only advantage over ws in my eyes.

But give the all the credit you want – yes, they are also friendly people – yes, where I sail we also share the water trouble free – some of my friends also kitesurf.

When I see a dangerous situation on the beach, collision, stuff out of control ect. it´s 90% of the time a kite-situation.

Just last week I saw a kite launch gone wrong. A guy tried to launce his kite, but his lines got caught in some bushes and the kite got out of control. It then flew into the power zone and dragged the poor person along, now on the ground face, down. It only stopped when the kiter´s face hit a big wooden table on the beach. Result! One broken nose and blood everywhere…!! The crazy part is, that only 20m away there where a big flat area of grass – perfect place to launch.

Anyway, the forecast promise 20-25kts all weekend – let´s hit the water 

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Old 30th September 2010, 11:48 PM   #12
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There must be a limit (60 Knts?) where windsurfing becomes impossible. This happens from time to time in Leucate. I just wonder how much the smallest kites, 3 sqm or so, can handle. Not so long time ago we regarded kitesurf as good, not to say only good, for light wind. We might have to readjust soon.
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Old 1st October 2010, 12:35 AM   #13
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If find them amazing fast, those kiters. Hell, they are breaking speed records almost every day. Respect.

It's a pity that they need so much place.

I've been also in Leucate this summer and must admit that the kiters I've seen were all very polite and friendly towards us,windsurfers. Most of them immediately put there kite up when crossing or passing near by. I felt safe. Chapeau !

Don't think they plane earlier then us. On the contrary, I think we plane earlier on the "big" formula stuff. Too little wind and their kite falls out of the air, the board sinks and they swim.

While we sail, they fly. It's personal preference.

For me they have only 1 real advantage: their gear fits in 1 backpack. That's the only thing I envy. I need a surf trailer to carry my gear.
IS87 / IS101 / RRD114 / US147
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Old 1st October 2010, 06:54 AM   #14
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Farlo commented that there must be a limit (60 Knts?) where windsurfing becomes impossible.

A good question. If WS is easiest when exceeding the true wind speed then in a decent blow sailing at less than the true wind speed the loading on sail and pilot increases and sheeting out causes the fin to ask what the *** is going on while the nose is being blown about.

Sailing close-hauled is an option depending on where you want to end up, having already changed down in sail and fin size, but on the slippery slope of the loss of speed and pointing power. In those conditions is a smaller board with inboard straps a better idea than an outboard stance on wide board?

Kite boards seem to side step such issues but there are no free lunches I guess and they have their own issues like the large amount of real estate they need with their lines.
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Old 1st October 2010, 07:54 AM   #15
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It is a good question Philip.
In my limited experience of trying to sail in the 40 kt + gusts I`ve found it is possible to sheet out (partially) yet still keep fin and mast foot loaded;infact I reckon if you cant do that you simply cant sail in s gusts over 35 k .(roughly). Dont think its possible with all sailsbut certainly with NP combats and to a lesser degree searches...

I`ve also found real problems lie after doing this in trying to gybe;if you are sailing fast in normal conditions as you enter gybe apparent wind can be zero;in insane winds;when you are sailing relatively slower keping rig depowered is a whole new problem. (Shooting off downwind in a 40 knot gust feels suicidal)
Its easy to say keeping speed up is the answer;having bottle to do it is another ;especially as at some stage you wll be bouncing over chop at some stage.

Putting it in perspective with boardspeed/windspeed. I wore GPS last week on 3 sailing sessions.On 7 metre day windspeed max gust was 25 knots. (Generally around 22) V max 29 knots.
On 5 metre day; max wind gust 35 knots (generally 30 knots) Vmax 28 knots
)n 4.5 metre day max gust 42 knots. V max 26 knots !!! Hence problem gybing ???
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Old 1st October 2010, 10:57 AM   #16
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Average 40 knots is really, really, really a lot of wind. Open water sailing in average 60 knots sounds rather absurd: it is Force 11 on a Beaufort (heavy damage to trees) and I doubt any small vessel can sail in those conditions and survive.

Max gust speed means almost nothing, and if anything it is much better to go by sail size, and forget about reporting pseudo-exact numbers that mean very little and are always biased upward. For an expert level sailor 70-80Kg: if you are on a 4.5 you are probably not in a lot of wind, if you are having a hard time with a 3.2 something is blowing hard.

So, I am not sure any longer what are we taking about, but your numbers seem very biased upward: sailors in the Bay Area (either kiters or windsurfer) are very used to high wind but when it is blowing 4.2->3.7->3.2 you see proportionally way more windsurfers out in the water.

BTW: up to a certain point the main limiting factor for board speed is not so much the wind, but, everything else being equal, water conditions. That is probably why your (slow) GPS speeds decrease with wind speed. My top speed (2 secs) is 38.3 knots, achieved in nothing special: just very powered up conditions with a 6.0 and water that was exceptionally smooth due to a lucky combination of wind/tide. In regular conditions at my local spot I cannot cross the 33-35 barrier no matter what I do: too much chop.

Speed records, by the way, are back in the hands of sailboats, and they are there to stay. The only reason Kites held the world record for a little while was because they can sail in 4" of water (basically on the beach, in ultra-smooth water). But both kites and windsurfs are limited by design to very low efficiency: above a certain speed they go barely faster than the wind. Compare to www.hydroptere.com the current record holder which did 51.36 over 500m and a completely untouchable (for kites/windsurfers) 50.36 over a nautical mile, in around 25-30 knots of wind ... in open water!

Last edited by davide; 1st October 2010 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 1st October 2010, 11:55 AM   #17
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Heading upwind a bit and then oversheeting hard is my way of gybing in overpowered conditions when I'm on sails 4.2 or smaller. If one gets it done quickly you'll find yourself able to get around quickly enough that you're able to point high again and just idle along in the overpowered conditions. Similar technique of oversheeting works to get downwind in overpowered conditions too. Oversheet to the point where the wind starts dumping off the front of the sail and control your speed by steering the board with your feet.
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Old 1st October 2010, 03:15 PM   #18
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Much of what you say is correct.
I can assure you though I have sailed in 35 knots with gusts to and over 40 knots with a really flattened off 4.5/4.4. (4.5 Rock/4.4 Combat)
My weight of 105 kilos is obviously a consideration.On day in question there were sailors out with sub 4`s and some on 3.3`s but I have found with such sails my range is (at 105 kilo) non-existent.

Your points re waterstate are correct.My PB (V max 10 second;dont think 2 second is reliable or valid) is 42.6 mph (just under 40 knots) set on mirror flat water in 30 knots (ish) with 5.7,(On Sotavento speedcourse;feet from watersedge)

Decided last year that anything under 4.5 weather for me was unenjoyable ;sold 3.7 and rarely use 4.
In my case I dont think my upper limit is much different (sub 4.5 too twitchy) and look on gusting to 40 knots (35 knots steady ?) as just worth rigging.Over that stay in car/go home.

Its the gusts and lulls that get you anyhow;steady (even strong) are manageable.

Its true we all think we sail in stronger winds than we actually do but 35 knots + is common at Leucate and there are days when I dont even rig and some sailors (smaller than me) are out sailing. Reaslistic upper limit for windsurfing (IMO) is 45 knots. I look at 40 knots as mine.

Take a look at Port Leucate wind record (Windfinder/Windguru) after a Tromantane has blown through.
Last Saturday was a "typical" day. Trouble is there are just patches of flat water where sailing seems much easier; and Tromantane is a notoriously gusty wind .

Good sailing.

Kiters do deserve recognition for progress.
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Old 16th October 2010, 01:18 AM   #19
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Alex Caizergues has set the new world speed record last Tuesday in Luderitz to 54,10 knots (>100 Km/h) with 8 sqm in 45 knots of wind!! OK not open sea, however... Kitesurf has seemingly a considerable progression margin. I really wonder how much a 3 sqm kite can handle. Any idea? No one willing to comment?

Last edited by Farlo; 16th October 2010 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 17th October 2010, 06:00 PM   #20
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Well done to the kitters for braving that trench. I think the course suits the kites better than the ws as its very broad. I love that the kitters can travel with such small kits and still go fast.We are still learning to go fast and our ws are much more efficient and we are much closer to the records than people realise,it will just be that very special day. Most of my gear is suited to 40kt but its not impossible to sail in 60kt but i think 70kt is the limit. At 60kt we can still have flat water and control to go fast
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