Wind report for the last 2 weeks, medium (15– 20 knots). Our regular guests from Canad-eh, Massachusetts and Minnesota returned for their annual 2-week vacation and were happy to have planed every day, using sail sizes from 5.7 up to 8.7 (Henry, aka Mister Big, was always on one meter bigger than the rest of the crew), and enjoying our new gear. The new smaller Futuras as well as the carbon boards were being put to use out on the blue highway.
On one lighter wind day we supplemented the morning planing with an afternoon of fun race for all interested guests. Everyone had to use a Hi Fly Primo board around our windward/leeward course. Mac shared upwind/downwind sailing and starting ‘strategies’ with the group and went through the starting sequence and then coached all around the course. Once again Henry was allowed to use the bigger sail but was mainly helped by intimidating all with his mean-looking, low drag, speed enhancing flaming dew-rag. After 3 races the winners were:
- Dave from Maryland
- Henry (from ‘Wild Hogs’?) from Massachusetts
- Judd from Minnesota.
On one of the lighter wind days Doug and Viola from Ottawa, Canada tried their hand(s) at our new Starboard Gemini tandem board. After a few attempts at ‘dual water starting’, moving into uphauling, finally getting coordinated and into the harness and foot straps they were planing across the water and tacking with ease. While getting back to the beach was a big success, coming back smiling and still married was their biggest accomplishment. The new tandem is quite a beast – 399 centimeters long, 100.5 centimeters wide, with 384 liters of volume!!!
Quincy Offringa (see photo below) was home visiting family (aka going to Carnival) and Kiri Thode was visiting Aruba to sail (aka also for Carnival) and put on a great show for guests and the locals as well. It’s good to see the new generations of local kids starting to take over the water performing Spocks and Flakas up through Konos, Burners, and more. The Wind Racers Club Aruba is now holding freestyle competitions at Barcadera as well as at Palm Beach.
Guest Board Feedback of the week:
Henry was absolutely thrilled with the planing, speed, and all-around fun he had on the JP All Rice 116 Carbon. It was fun to see the big guy blasting around on it with sails up to our H2 8.7. I think his wife was getting jealous and we had to keep an eye on his last day as everyone thought he was going to take it home with him. While it is not as fast as the iSonics we have, I did see Henry pass a couple on the water!
Tom’s pick has to be the 113/103 carbon Starboard Kodes. While the Starboard iSonics are definitely faster, I have been having an absolute blast on the Kodes. While REALLY fun to sail, the carbon versions have the extra liveliness, acceleration, and planing that add to the fun of turning, jibing, jumping and blasting.
Vela Aruba GPS Challenge – Thanks to a friend of mine, I have a Locosys GT-31 GPS unit in Aruba for our guests and Vela team to try. I have setup the unit to record the max speed and max 10 second average speed for the sailor. Anyone who comes to Vela can see me and sign up for a 2 hour interval to use the GPS. At the end of the session I will record the top speed for the guest and the equipment used, and will report the top speeds in my bi-monthly blogs.
While setting up and testing the GPS and process, one of our instructors recorded the best time:
Max Speed 36.88 MPH
Max 10 Sec 34.98 MPH
(Using a Starboard iSonic 107 and Neil Pryde RS Slalom 7.8)