Shaun on Maui 2010
by Shaun Geer
July 31, 2010
As far as a prediction, I would be helping you Spencer, but I am in Maui right now until August 4th. I’ll be going to Cabrillo the last two days of the week Aug 4th and 5th and 6th when I get back.
So I can’t focus enough to make good predictions on Southern CA weather at this time.
I met Barry Spanier on Monday and got to talk sail talk with him among other things. It was nice to finally meet him in person at his place where he works and to visit his home. He got a signed copy of his book from him. I got a chance to tell him that I have been sailing and been a fan of his stuff for over 12 years now. I have also become an ambassador for the company and am now working more directly with them. I learned from Barry that you can use a north mast with his sails. He said that many of the racers are using North Masts. So Dan, you can try that out too and see if it works for you. I took a picture with him that I will hang on my office wall when I get back home next to my other windsurfing photos.
Barry was a very nice guy and was happy to hear my comments and notes on sailing the different designs throughout the years. I followed him to his house which faces north East with a view of the ocean and the trade winds. He said it was a great property as he could through a ball off of his deck for the dog to catch and bring up to him.
I have been sailing on a New 5.9 TR-6 Maui sail that I picked up from their shop with a 100 percent carbon 430 mast here in Maui on a 70 liter JP Slalom Board.
Each day we see racers out on the water in Kanaha practicing. We often get a chance to talk with them afterwards. I was impressed with Mike Yasik during one of the races as he came from a bad start 7th place, and passed the entire pack to win. It was amazing to watch, he was so much faster then everyone else.
David Whittaker is sharing a condo with us. And we met my friend William and his girlfriend who will be sailing with us tomorrow at Kanaha. I also had a chance to meet Phil McGain and Rick Whidden. We have seen Matt Pritchard, Alex Agera (walking around on the beach in the kite surf area teaching some young girls how to kite surf) and I asked, without knowing it, the designer of North sails where Rick Whidden was when we arrived at the races on Saturday.
I bought a Tectonics Fin directly from the shop where they are made and from the designer who we interrupted standing behind a machine with a mask on. Johanna took some pictures of the little shop where there were a bunch (I’ve never seen so many tectonic fins in one place before) up against the wall.
We also cruised by Mark Nelson’s shop and briefly chatted with him. He was having a power problem at the time (breaker thrown somewhere), so we didn’t bother him too long.
I hope it blows for you guys at the beach, as I said, I’ll be going there when I get back to get my new big sail tuned in. Hope to see some of you then.
I’ll send some pictures as soon as we have a chance get all our digital photos on the laptop.
Today was crazy in Kihei. Averaging the mid 20’s and gusting to the high 30’s for 3 hours.
It was nice to see sailors sailing as the sun set in the west of a distant island. Unfortunately my camera was in the Van and my legs, after sailing all day, didn’t want to go and get it. The sun was so low in the sky that you could see it through the sails on the water. You could also see the shadows of their sails as they turned, being cast along the sandy beach. Definitely a day to remember.
Friday, July 30th:
Today it blew like stink at Sprecks. It was so windy that guys on 3.6’s and smaller were overpowered. One guy went out on a 3.6 and said it was survival sailing as it was so windy. It was averaging over 30mph at one point. Mix that up with some rollers and you have for a wild ride. Dave W. went out on a 4.5 and said it was too much. He came in and watched… felt safer that way. He said he hadn’t used a 4.5 sail in years. There was a blast zone like you wouldn’t believe about 1/4 mile from the shore.
I must admit, I was a little intimidated at first, listening to everyone tell their stories about how crazy it was out there. So I had a choice, I could go out on some wave gear, smallest sail we had was a 4.5, which was probably too big anyways, or check and see how tunable the race sail was. After all, I’ve held on to a 7.6 sail in the mid 20’s at Isabella.
“Don’t kid yourself Shaun”, I said to myself, “This ain’t Isabella and that water is a lot more bumpy and filled with jumps.”
But how was I going to find out if I didn’t try? I figured I would take it easy, not sheet in all the way and if it was crazy I would just turn around and go in.
I down hauled my sail another half a centimeter, just slightly over spec, but still some draft. Pulled the out haul reasonably tight, not totally tight, just about 90 percent. I forgot to mention, I was on a 5.9 TR6 Maui Race sail….
My first run was a rush… The water was relatively flat near the shore, but when I got out in the rollers I concentrated on picking which jumps I could make and which ones I needed to steer around. My board did amazingly well… I was confident enough to lock in and take full speed. Hitting the top of everything made for a relatively smooth ride as I could go over the top of some of the biggest stuff. Easy with the fin pressure adjusting at every hop.
Stephen, who is from Switzerland, and a very good sailor I might add, weighs about 165 pounds and he was powered up on his wife’s 3.6 while I was out. I have attached a photo of us on the water. Make sure you view it in its native resolution to get an idea of how windy it was on the water. I found as long as I kept my board relatively close to the water (low jumps) I was OK. However, if I got too high the wind would plow me down. I got shot out of the air two times and crashed. But most of the time I was able to point the board down wind in the air and carefully depower the fin enough to land and keep going.
On the outside, choosing an area to jibe was difficult with so much power. Sometimes I would unhook only to hook back in until I saw something better.
After making it back to the shore, there was so much adrenaline pumping through my veins I had to keep going. I can’t say I ever really got comfortable, but I did get somewhat used to it and even enjoyed the intensity. This was definitely a challenge. I have certainly been just as overpowered at Isabella, but when you add in the water conditions here in Maui it is like riding a fast motorcycle with ramps popping up at you everywhere. What a blast, I can still feel adrenaline pumping through my veins as I write this.
Tomorrow we are going to see the State Championships. The races begin at 11am.