New Storm Chase Venue proposed...
Lake Ontario Mac's
I bet if we had some footage of West Point from Friday, we could easily submit to RedBull for a new Storm Chase location! Too bad this only happens once every few years. Too bad? Well, yeah. It was epic, a blast and all that - super fun, but lets not kid ourselves, its nice to be in control too isn't it? I don't think I felt legitimately 'comfy' with my 3.7 all day. I think I can normally start riding my 3.7 in 30kts plus, but sheesh, this was 40 or 45 kt base wind, with gusts well beyond. THe Pt. Petre meter suggested 44kts gusting to 53kts. 50 mph, gusting 60mph. OVER THE TOP!
I drove in via Hwy 33, passing by Fairfield in Amherstview where a few sailors were parked. The rollers out there looked beautiful. If I weren't so addicted to Mac's I may have been tempted... but alas. Arrived at 12:30 or so. I promised myself I would be patient and hang out for the wind to decline post 2pm per the forecast, but no chance. I don't have that sort of patience. Rigged the 3.7 and got going. It was already nuts for my first 20min outing, but I got a couple of decent waves and sailed OK, without the top-turn back-hand removals. Not many people out, just guys taking quick sessions, in and our for short periods to experiment, sail hard for a short time then get back in.
REpeated that a few more times, but then the wind went absolutely ballistic. Liquid smoke all over the place. Long, well-spaced waves rolling in, but I think due to the high winds, the waves were getting pushed down and closing out more. Was hard to find long rides except further out! But out there, the winds were crazy!! Mac's is usually a dead easy launch. Not anymore - it was not easy with what seemed like sustained 40-50 kts right along the shoreline. Lots of people willing to lend a hand.
By about 3:30 or so, I wouldn't say it had dropped much, but those people waiting on the sidelines could wait no longer. What if it didn't drop? Well, about 4 o'clock and lots more sails on the water! Great to see Joe and Andrew rig up and play! My buddy Bob from Kingston scored a late 1/2hr too. Great to see so many people enjoying the crazy cnditions, making the best out of it, and lots of willing photographers on shore to document the stupid windboarders out in the hurricane. OPP and EMS even dropped by for a hello!
The Quebecers were once again showing us how to do it. Pierre Boilley hucked one of the most upright and high forwards I have seen in a while, and in 50kts! Ilan was ripping multiple turn waves and looked great on the 3.4. Jacek killing it too. Too many to name. Fathom getting some good hits.
Ilan - thanks for saving my kit and me from a long swim to the beach. I think we may have been halfway there already. I think it was my third hit on that wave and my kit was simply extracted from my body on a top-turn in the white-water, and then.. gone! I don't think I was getting any closer with what seemed like a 10-min swim!
THen, the grand finale - a sweet get-together at the Acoustic Grill with the gang. Awesome burger and beers to wrap things up.
Lots of photos around, I'll just include a few of mine attached. But here are a couple links to additional photos: