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My First Visit to Hatteras

About three(3) years ago I suggested to my colleague, Helmut, that we go to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. He has been about twice and this year will be my first !!! He always went with Bruno of 2-rad and so, I will try that also ...

When i asked about the deposit, the Canadian dollar was on par with the U.S. , but now we are down to $0.80US :-( If the trip costs about $1000 US, it will now be $1200 !!! That means NO equipment changes this year for me :-( Luckily I have more equipment than necessary.

Speaking about equipment ... Since I will be going down with Helmut and his Mazda 3, I will be limited to two(2) boards. For me there are four(4) boards I would consider, but I want to cover as much range as possible. I have a Mistral Equipe longboard, JP SLW92, AHD FF 160/79 and Fanatic BEE LTD 124/63. The JP SLW92 is quite large, meant more for light winds and also requires quite long fins. People have told me that they have used these FreeFormulas there, but for me that one is out of the question...

The Fanatic BEE LTD 124 is a no-brainer. It is long compared to "modern" 124 liter boards, but that impacts jibes/gybes more than anything. It also means quick tacks are a possibility - especially since I longboarded much more than short-boarded. The board will handle my 6.3 and 6.9 no problem and I would like to try it with my 8.x sails while there ...

So, the big question is: Mistral Equipe/MEQ longboard or AHD FF 160 short board ? So far, the vote is split. Two people suggested the longboard and then rent short boards as required. Ca ce n'est pas mauvais/ not bad since this board can go in light wind with an 8.x and also bigger winds with 6.9. Two other people suggested the AHD FF 160. This board can also go with 8.x and 6.9, but will NOT go in lighter winds - like 12 knots - unless I bring the 10-oh sail.

One of the main reasons for me to go to Hatteras - finally - is I MUST get in the foot straps !! Would this be better with my own AHD FF 160 or a rented short board. I would like to try a Tabou Rocket in any case - especially the 125. I have written about it and drooled about it for years...

So, perhaps I should look at this entirely differently ... Bring the Mistral Equipe and the AHD FF 160. Then I would rent whatever equipment was needed for the bigger winds.

People say bring everything, but logistically I cannot ...
If I can bring the 10-oh sail, 520 mast and long boom, I will probably go for the AHD and BEE option.
With sails from 6.3 to 10-oh I would be covered from 12 knots to about 24 knots.
If I cannot bring the 10-oh, I may bring the MEQ longboard and BEE short board.
With sails from 6.3 to 8.x, I would also be covered from 10 knots to about 24 knots.
This would carry a higher probability of renting short boards - around 110 liters for really big winds and around 135-145 for 8.x sails. Then again , I want to try the BEE with 8.x sails. So, the BEE and longboard are actually a viable option - with less BIG equipment to carry n setup...

The sails I will probably bring are HotSailsMaui Fire 6.3, NorthSails Duke 6.9, HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5 and Sailworks Retro 8-oh. Obvious questions are: NO MauiSails and why two 8.x sails ??
My MauiSails are TR race sails and I am unsure of whether that is needed in a place like Cape Hatteras where the wind is slated to be more steady than here in Montreal.
I am bringing two 8.x sails because that is my most used sail size and the HSM SPF has the range, while the Retro has the grunt.
Also, with those four(4) sails I only need bring two(2) masts - Powerex RDM 460 and NP SDM 490.

Addendum: Took a look at recent wind at Avon, North Carolina. and winds were either BIG (over 20 knots) or LITE (around 12 knots). That would mean BEE 124 and MEQ longboard. Will check for more history ... Wunderground was much more interesting - average wind around 20 kph and highest around 60 kph. ( a lot of 20-40 kph, 30-50 and 40-60 kph) This would mean BEE 124 and AHD 160 with current sails !!! Investigation continues - should I ask on iWindsurf ? Perhaps wait until a little closer to the voyage :-)

Here's the wind blob from wind alert:

and windfinder:

and wunderground: (this week)

On Friday the 3rd of March winds were well over 30 knots !!

Your suggestions on what to bring and past experiences are welcome here :-)
I posted the question on iwindsurf as well..
and so far the option of Mistral Equipe and Fanatic BEE is winning !! and WON !!
the winds generally seem to be under 60 kph peak, but do hit 70 on occassion
i thought this okay until i translated this to knots
60 kph = 32 knots and 70 kph = 38 knots !!!
40 to 60 is 6.3 for me which i have
50 to 70 kph is definitely 5-oh weather
for this i am lacking the sail and board
if i am lucky this will only happen on one day during my week there !!!
cuz that is more than what i usually sail in !!!

It is now April 18th which means about three(3) weeks before we go to Hateherass :-)
Today the air and water temps are around 19 degrees C = warm
From the 11th to the 18th temps went from 10 to 22 degrees - almost like here in Montreal
We dipped below 10, but did hit 22 !!
The best winds seemed to be 20 - 40 kph = 8-oh weather as the best winds :-(

Antoine is there now let's hope he has better - Mon and Tues supposed to have BIG winds - 25 knots
Here is a summary of the week in chart form - need to get the story from Antoine !!
He went down there in style !!

 Antoine had a good time 9 outta 10, but busted a rented sail which cost him $200US. He also hurt his wrist and one finger when he was out in 3.7 weather !! He rented a Gecko 112 from Ocean Air Sports and 2 sails - Ezzy and Severne. Board can be changed out as you go. This is the deluxe rental package and costs about $275US.

And the following week? We leave NEXT Friday !! Temps are all over 15 degrees and winds stayed under 50 kph ??


  1. Hello - For what its worth this would be my approach. Since you mention that you "must get in the foot straps" then you'll need to be rigging to get planing.

    So if it were me I would take your Fanatic Bee which I would match up with your 8.0, 6.9 and 6.3.... and that's all!

    The logic behind this is that I think your 10.0 is just too big to learn anything with and when you have such a clear objective I think would just be a distraction, your 8.5 wouldn't really get you planing any sooner than your 8.0 with its added weight and is a bit big (i think) on 124 litres.

    But what about when its lighter wind (sub 12kts), well the SLW would get you planing sooner than the Bee but the straps are way way more outboard and therefore much more technical to get into (not impossible of course but why make life harder whilst learning). I have sailed a SB ultrasonic which I am sure has similar strap positions - fantastic board but a committed sailing stance and lots of 'calf burn'. I know very little about long boards so can't be sure but again I'm not sure what it would add, ditto the FF.

    When it is too light to plane on the Bee I would be practising light wind tacks and gybes and, if it was more than around 8 knots, I would be practising getting my front foot into the strap. Ideally though on these light wind days I would look to hire a beginner board or wind sup for this light wind messing about.

    Hope you don't mind having my thoughts . S

    1. thanks Steven
      i can use either the Mistral Equipe or AHD FF 160 liter for light wind "messing about" and therein lies the issue
      which one to bring along - for footstraps AHD, for messing about MEQ

  2. Hey Joe,
    I'm in Hatteras the 3rd week of April - maybe I'll bump into you on the water!
    'Ontario' Joe
    (I'm bringing my 8.0, 6.3, 5.2, 4.5 Freemove 120 and wave kona board and a sup i can sail (and a road bike). Leaving the Phantom longboard and the 9.5 at home.)

    1. Hey Ontario Joe
      Would have loved to meet u at Hatteras
      I'll be there one month later - leave some wind for us
      One day I have to visit u and that Phantom !!!
      Montreal Joe


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