Trying the new SuperFreak Sail on Sunday
Apologies in advance, this is a long rant about my Sunday experience and new (to me) sail. So just check the pics at the end if you wana skip through the boring part, thats what anyone really wants right? :)
Excellent session Sunday afternoon at ShellPoint. Hitting into the 20s for a couple of hours. Tabout 125L and I rigged up the Freeride V 8.5. Way overpowered after about 10min on the water. So I decide to try the new HSM SuperFreak 7.0. I was giving the beach crowd a show on how to ride and then fall trying to plane gybe and Perry came out with his 6.5. He blasted far out in the bay for over an hour.
So the freak is a nice sail but not near as tunable as the Ezzy. It rigs flat and needs wind to create a foil in the sail. It doesn't have much in the luls and it's definitely not fast to plane. But it loses its weight in the gybes and it feels light. Perfect day for gybe learning! I messed up so many I couldnt even count them. Got some slow gybes but I wasnt going for those. Didnt get any of my planning gybes to complete. I think I need to spend less time on the Kona. The 9.5 will run on the Tabou 125. Ive done it before and I think if theres enough wind to plane the Kona with it, the shortboard should get going as well. I just feel more comfortable on the Kona with a 9.5 then the Tabout 125 with the 7.0; gotta change that.
I learned some harsh lessons that day. I was out next to the pylon, the very first one right next to the club house. Wasnt paying attention and the sail got dragged into the water and jammed up against the pylon. WOW!!! I thought the rig was a gone! It was pinned and I couldnt move it, sail underwater, mast looked like it was going to break! Couldnt do ANYTHING! Tried to push it and got my hand stuck between the pylon and the boom. BAD IDEA! Barely got it out with scrapes and what not but not broken. Figured it wasnt worth it. Wanted to release the clew, couldnt get to it, current was too strong. So I released the downhaul and the sail gave a little, I moved it a little off the pylon and boom clamp and released the luff end of the boom. Finally the sail lost some tension and I was able to move it off the pylon and into the water. Floated around, still dazed from the experience rigged the sail back up. Got it tensioned and sailed it back to shore. I definitely wont be tying the downhaul/outhaul ropes as complex as Ive done before. They need to come out quick in an emergency. Also, I plan on staying away from the pylons and this time I mean it! Oh, nothing wrong with the rig or sail (LUCKY!) just some luff scrapes but no holes!
So you would think that was the end of my unplanned sail torture test. Well, at the end of the session around 7pm, tying the board to the rack and the wind picks up into the 30s because of the storm coming in. Only for a few seconds but the 125L boards flapping on the roof rack with only one strap and the sail is still on the racks. Put the other strap back and the run to the sail, it let loose and flew away! *SIGH* Check the sail and it still looks OK! LOL So the SuperFreak is a damn strong sail!
Too many lessons learned but it was still an awesome day. Got an MTB ride at TomBrown in the morning and an killer session on a shortboard. I REALLY needed this after all the lack of wind!
Click picture to enlarge:
You are not the first one to have his sail trapped on a Shell Pt channel marker by the strong tidal flow near the shore. It happened to at least one other sailor a number of years ago, and Francis (a famous and dashing Austrian/French sailor known for his jumping and now retired to upstate NY) swam out and was able to wrestle the rig off after a difficult struggle. When the tide is flowing strongly, it can happen very quickly and makes it nearly impossible to recover the sail. Best to stay well clear of the markers.
On Sunday afternoon, GT (Gary Tucker) sailed at AP (Allig Pt) on his 78 liter Goya Quad and a 4.5, which seems to be a lot smaller than the sails you guys were using. I was in Toronto.
Yep...wind picked up to 18 or so. As mentioned to both Alex and Stan (who happened by), I saw an old friend out there...the north mark. For those of you who don't know the north mark (as set, named and maintained by ABYC), it's about 120* off the tripod about a mile from the tripod. Hard to find as it is an acetylene tank painted orange...a bit difficult to see with numerous whitecaps and nice 3-5 foot chop. Jibed around it and had to pinch a bit to get back to the tripod on this day. A great ride both ways but especially the sightly broad reach to it. With the extreme low tide we had at the time, the flats had to be avoided. The very broad reach down the channel coming back to the beach was Mr. Toad's wild ride for sure...I'm sure I was getting close if not hitting 30k. Fun session late on Sunday...
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