Saturday, February 25, 2017

______________________ A NICE PLACE TO SIT _________________________

Earlier in the week I returned to one of my favourite spots. It a grassy embankment next to the Onerahi Yacht Club which overlooks where I race every Tuesday evening. Feburary is a very hot and humid month in Northland, New Zealand and I found some respite from the humidity by sitting under this magnificent Pohutakawa tree. The shade was accompanied by a warm fresh Easterly wind.

As I sat under the tree enjoying the cooling breeze my thoughts were interrupted by the hiss and roar of this great display of sailboarding skill. In terms of sailing it doesn't get any more simple than this.

Back and forth across the harbour roared this rudderless apparition, steering by using the weight of his body and the angle of attack of the sail. My guess as to his speed would be upwards of 25 knots.

Pohutakawa trees are my favourite trees and are prolific in the North Island of NZ. They are referred to fondly as the New Zealand Christmas tree and are garlanded in beautiful red flowers over summer. 

This Pohutakawa is well placed for me to sit under and gaze out on the watery field of the OYCs Tuesday evening sailing combat and ponder racing strategy and other Zephyrus thoughts.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I windsurfed for the better part of 15 or 20 years, through the glory years of the sport when everyone wanted to have a go and the manufacturers were tripping over themselves to get into the market.. even North and Hyde were making sails.. Dufour was making boards... and then all of a sudden the crowds disappeared and my mates and I were fewer in number... I sailed long (race) boards, loved them, there is absolutely nothing like cruising at 20+ knots in the back straps of a long racing board, with 3 and a half metres of hull out of the water (and waving gently from side to side with the speed) and you only the last half metre, holding down a 7.5 mtr camber induced racing sail as the gusts try to launch you into a low earth orbit... the styles changed, the boards changed, and I changed... wouldn't swap Sparrow for a factory fresh windsurfer now.. been there, done that.. :o))

Alden Smith said...

Steve, I can see the attraction. I took a look at a few YouTube videos of windsurfing after blogging about it. One video was of a guy cracking 50 knots on a shortish windsurfer - amazing, pure adrenaline!

.... and I agree about not swapping Sparrow, I wouldn't permanently swap any of my own more sedate sailing activities for the manic fun of windsurfing.... although I might not have acted my age and given it a go if the guy I was watching offered me the chance to do so! LOL.