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How much wind is too much wind ??

Today on the first of June 2011, my buddy wanted to go out and try his brand new Fanatic Hawk 135. I can understand why he is anxious to get out. I did NOT even bring my stuff nor my car to work and Helmut was surprised. I warned him that winds were going to be beyond me and my average joe skills. He always says i do crazy stuff , take crazy risks and put myself in crazy situations. And i DO !!

However, today was NOT a day for me to be on the water %^&*()_

The winds were gonna be crazy, they spoke about thunderstorms and someone even mentioned hail %^&*( The grass in front of the office was blowing like something you see in the movies.

I did a reading with my wind meter at home and only got a max of 24 kph. But that was with the houses blocking. In the IGA grocery parking lot I received a maximum reading of 32 kph. Went to the bridge over troubled water on the 117 and had steady winds at 20 kph with gusts to 30 kph. Just when I was thinking it was not so bad and perhaps sail-able for someone of my average joe skills, the wheel on the digital anemometer started singing and showed a max of 47 kph !!There were ONLY two(2) jet skis on the water - NO kayaks and NO canoes.

The Mirabel areoport showed 20 mph winds with over 30 mph gusts.

Yeah, butt look at Dorval readings !!! Almost 30 to 50 mph winds !!!

Here is a shot from Lac de deux Montagnes as well and that is from a protected camera where NW winds would show even stronger !!!

The local experts on quebecwind were talking about their 4.x sails and being over. Or standing on shore and drooling cuz they just did not have the equipment for the day. In my case, it is easy, I donut have the skills !!

Let's just say that day there was enough wind to knock out electricity for thousands of homes for over 18 hours. This is obviously nothing like a catastrophe - just "too much wind".

This is all fine n dandy, butt what do you do when you are in the middle of a race and the wind starts to kick axx?? Check this race where the guys are just flying and obviously way overpowered !! Sorry, no sound this time ...

And this is apparently what some of the experts say about sailing overpowered - quoted from the Auzzie forum:

Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)

"I don't want to share my secrets; I was out there on a 6.3, I made all the semi-finals and one final. There were guys falling down on their 5.7's, it's not because I was stronger, I did the maximum I could with my equipment, I tuned it to the best of my ability to keep it under control. I know there are guys that don't think about this, one day they will find out when I stop racing, maybe then I will share my secrets."

Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)

"I just take a brand new sail put the mast in and I sail with it. My smallest sail is 5.7m North, I am part of the R+D teams for North and Starboard so I know the gear really well. I am used to sailing in high wind conditions so it is not a problem for me."

"There are two different styles, mine is to stand on the board very upright, and I open the leach to release the wind. Other people like to get down really low in the harness and use their weight. But I like to release the wind and get the flow going fast."

Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde)

"My secret is my secret; I am from the Caribbean and that is the best secret. I was on my 5.5m in the strong winds, I like to have long harness lines and get my weight down really low to absorb all the power, and don't go full speed all the time so that you don't always crash.

Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)

"There is no secret; just tuning your equipment and being safe on the gear, make sure you are really comfortable. I put my harness lines in the correct location; I put my boom down a little so I can get my weight down really low. I make sure my board is always in the water and I and have maximum control."


  1. 47 km/hr. Around 25 knots? Try a 90 ltr board and a 4.5 sail and you've love it. I know of many people who, after half a decade of experience, only go out in these conditions. It really helps to find steady, onshore conditions for your first sessions at this level. I really recommend a video or instruction if you feel your fundamentals need some tuning. It can take years off the process. Remember, average joes in the Gorge use 4.2's, it's all relative.

  2. Good job Joe on your post keep up the good work.
    Good sailing Dani.


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