Saturday, April 30, 2011

Benone Kitesurfing - Sat 30 April

The recent spell of weather has been quite unbelievable, although it's not uncommon to get a few hot days in April, it is uncommon to get a few good weeks! However the "good" weather didn't come with wind... until this weekend.

Easterlies had been forecast, sometimes slightly North, sometimes slightly South, but the forecast looked good for Benone.

I actually went down yesterday after work, Alan was out, but there was barely enough wind to fly, and it wasn't even worth a try. Today however the wind was blowing hard, well worth it.

I was out for about 2 hrs. It's unusual for me riding in an Easterly; going out across the waves with the right foot first is difficult to get used to. However once I got over my initial wobbles I was fine.

It was a really good session, a bit up and down. I also learned something about my confidence - normally I can turn really well at the shore side, and am more cautious and reluctant at the deep end. Well, changing the direction of the run didn't make any difference to that. I should have been able to make good turns, even ride toeside on the way out. No chance. It's clearly a confidence thing, and when the direction is changed the problem stays the same.

Looking forward to more sunshine riding tomorrow :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kate's first public performance

Tonight Kate played at the Spring Concert for the Causeway School of Music. When she was asked to play we didn't think an awful lot about it, we'd never been before and it was probably something like a school concert.

We were wrong. Kate was about half way though the program, and we sat and watched lots of brilliant acts come before her. By the time she was walking to the grand piano right at the other side of the packed theatre I think I was significantly more nervous than her. Most of the kids were some sort of child prodigy, there were some who were so young that they were just cute regardless of talent, but the standard was very high.

Kate took a few moments to compose herself, and began to play her grade 3 exam piece, which she played very well.

It was a great evening, really nice to hear such a variety of music and talent, from young and old.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Dooey, Sat 2nd April

The wind has been from steady S/SW direction all week, although some times very strong and others weak, but the forecast was showing reasonably good for Dooey for today.

I just got up at my usual time, got breakfast and set out on the road. I arrived at the beach just after 9am, and there was only a gentle breeze. After hanging around for a few minutes the breeze changed to wind, so I got the gear, and began setting up. At one stage the kite was hard to hold as I was pumping it, but when I finished setting up there was no wind!

At around 10am a couple of others landed, and decided to set up, and sure enough, by the time they were set up the wind had started.

We all went out onto the water, after a short time I had a big fall and lost my board. The waves were huge and frequent, and the body-dragging to get the board was really difficult; each time I took a breath another huge wave hit me, and it was hard to see where the board was. I was exhausted by the time I found the board, and came in for a short rest. Apart from that time I had a fantastic time on the water. My riding continues to improve, now easily recovering from little mistakes that would have tumbled me last year.

My jumping over waves is also improving and obviously I don't even attempt any jumps when further out - its just too risky for me at the moment. I haven't mastered the kite action for non-wave jumps yet, was practising a little, but I just enjoy riding back and forward too much (and don't like falling in :) )

I did one huge jump, seemed like 15-20 feet, probably more like 6, although it was a shock how far away the water was. I was going over a huge wave, and concentrating so much on getting up the front and down the back that I lost the kite, and it went into floaty jump position, so up I went. It was actually quite easy to control (once I noticed it) and I floated down to a nice soft landing in the water, without my board unfortunately. A good experience though - can't wait 'til I can do it under control.

After about 1.5-2 hrs on the water the wind started to pick up and it was time to come in for a kite change, and lunch - I could hardly hold the kite on full depower to get landed!

After lunch I pumped up the 9 and went out again. It began to rain, really the only proper rain we saw all day, but the wind was really steady during and after the rain. Otherwise the wind was very up and down, sometimes badly underpowered, and sometimes a little overpowered. But, it was another great session, although I was tired I still felt I was learning. Another 1.5-2 hrs on the water in the afternoon, and I was wrecked. It was pack up and home time.

A fantastic day, and helped by the fact the air temperature was 10-15 degrees, and the sun was out, really nice. A great mix of big waves, small waves, broken and unbroken waves, sunshine and showers.