How high a wind is unsailable?

How high a wind is unsailable?

The key to
"I watched Peterson, Dougherty and a few pros go out one day at Rooster Rock
at I would guess was a  fifty mph wind and get flattened most the time."
just might be in the phrase, "I would guess was a  fifty mph wind". I place
(some) more faith in instruments, and there have been many cases -- it's even
commonplace -- of  a small crowd on the water having a GREAT TIME when several
independent instruments indicated winds mostly into the 50s (mph) at sea level.
We had a fair-sized crew enjoying 3.2s to 3.7s in winds measured out on a flat
peninsula at 50 to 60 mph all day at 5,000 feet altitude, which has the same
power as 45-55 mph winds at sea level. We had smaller sails, but we save them
for higher or steadier winds. For example, until we see handfuls of water being
frequently blasted off the water (lakes, not surf), we stay over 4 meters. We
measure roughly 40 mph (about 35 at sea level) at that threshold.

I've seen many cases of fairly steady winds well over 40 mph in the eastern
Gorge, as indicated by swell hitting 10 feet, flying spray EVERYWHERE,
Windsight and the NWS and guys onshore at Arlington all measuring a 40-50,
45-55, etc. On days like this there are three groups of sailors: those on
shore, those on the water on sub-3-meter sails but complaining of many deep
holes in the wind, and a few on 3.2s or even 3.7s who never stop planing. The
latter crew would say the wind was quite steady.

As for, "when the wind is blowing fifty your going to have good
sized waves that will expose your board to being lifted off the water." ----
that's precisely why many of us LOVE winds in that range, if they're of any
quality. Jumping gets PHENOMENAL then, the adrenaline flows like water, and the
crowds are WAY down. I mean, when the crowd at the Hatchery is down by 90%, you
KNOW it's getting WAAAYYY past 40 mph. And if spray starts flying at 35-40,
what does that make it when spray is EVERYWHERE, some sailors are getting
picked up off the water and thrown downwind, walking is difficult ... and THEN
it gets windy -- with liquid smoke everywhere, whole swell tops getting blown
off, and the swell starts dying ---- and some people still having fun on the
water?

As for, "Now some folks say you just need the right board. I say there ain't a
right board for those conditions."

MANY 8-footers or smaller will absolutely SHRED in those conditions, even in
rough water, let alone flatter water. Getting on one of the many "right" boards
makes a *****GIANT***** difference in tracking and control, especially in the
gusts.

The only people who can authoritatively address this question are the speed
sailors who often operate on well-instrumented courses, and thus have an
educated feel for what's REALLY going out there in BS land. Until we hear from
them, we're all just relying on our own less-educated estimates and on
instruments not right out on the water.

How about it Ken, Bruce, et. al.? If you were to pick a round number for the
max decent-quality wind you guys can control on, say, a 3.0, on a) flat and b)
B&J water, what number would that be?

I'll go out on a limb and guess it's around 60 at Roosevelt and 65 at Rooster
Rock or Lyle.

Mike \m/
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

How high a wind is unsailable?

Nick,
I HAVE been in 50mph and it's certainly a rush.  the comment about the
board being too big or too small is indeed a problem.  I was on a 7'10"
board and I was using a 2.8.  It's manageable, but becasue the wind, in
that situation is not steady you have to deal with being fully "on" or
"off".  Not my idea of a good time.  I just did it casue I was a wind
junkie (I still am) and the gorge was goin off, and I was there.

We used to say that if it got windy enough, we could just go out with a
handkerchief on the mast.  I'm sure it's not true.. but sometimes, it felt
like it.

aloha

Tim Orden

Quote:

> Congratulations, what a rare moment. 90% of the responses in this
> thread are believable. I have heard so many people sitting on beachs
> say they have sailed in 50 mile and hour winds that are full of BS.
> When you ask them how fast its blowing on the spot they will say 40
> mph when I know its more around 30mph.

> In my experience I would say they threshold for sailing is somewhere
> near 50 mph, but that depends on a lot of stuff. I tried to get going
> in a 45 mph ( that's that average wind speed)  one day and couldn't
> even keep my board on the water. I would stand there and the board
> would literally fly into the air and flop around while I held the sail
> and boom. The gusts were were likely peaking at 60mph ( thats on a
> every minute or so basis, there were bigger gusts)

> I watched Peterson, Dougherty and a few pros go out one day at Rooster
> Rock at I would guess was a  fifty mph wind and get flattened most the
> time. They all ended up getting back to shore a mile down wind and
> they weren't doing much sailing. Course that was older equipment.

> Bottom line is when the wind is blowing fifty your going to have good
> sized waves that will expose your board to being lifted off the water.
> It is possible to get past that, but then you will have to contend
> with gusty wind. That will ultimately be your  undoing. Now some folks
> say you just need the right board. I say there ain't a right board for
> those conditions. The wind is usually extremely gusty so you are going
> to need something that can stay up in the lulls or try to rig too big
> and get blown away. There is no happy medium.

> Now if the wind blew a steady 70 and you had a bank protecting the
> water    that was still low enough to let the wind through you could
> just rig the right size sail and have a good time. It ain't going to
> happen under natural conditions in your lifetime.

> >with discussions of the possibility of Rob going >50 mph, I presume
> >the wind must have been around 35 mph or greater.  This brings me to
> >the point of wondering what are practical upper limits of wind
> >velocity in which you can stay on a board, even with a 3.0 sail.

> >I've sailed in a number of gales and noreasters and found that once
> >it's gusting into the forties it's practically impossible for me -
> >but I've never been to the Gorge.

> >--
> >Jack Faller

How high a wind is unsailable?

The wind is unsailable when you don't have a small enough sail.  I have been in
65 mph gusts that seemed reasonable if my sail was smaller.  I recall a video
with a fellow at the Gorge in 70 mph winds.  His worry was losing his board and
having it blown down river sixty plus miles to Portland.

Bob

How high a wind is unsailable?

I've been on a 3.0 North Orbital in winds gusting to 108 km/h
(67mph or so). The board was a cobra 240 radical with 60 liters.
The wind was onshore, relatively steady. You last about 30
minutes before going back in to recover. I liked it.

Cheers,
Henrik "4.9" Klagges

PS: The Orbital has a long boom (1.40) even for the small 3.0
size. That makes the "on-off" typically experienced with
hight winds and flat sails (such as the old RAF Wave from
Pryde) much easier to handle.

--

UniX11 Software Development Co.    - +49-89-980-490P/-735X

How high a wind is unsailable?

Quote:
>The wind is unsailable when you don't have a small enough sail.  I have been in
>65 mph gusts that seemed reasonable if my sail was smaller.  I recall a video
>with a fellow at the Gorge in 70 mph winds.  His worry was losing his board and
>having it blown down river sixty plus miles to Portland.

>Bob

The key word here is gusts. I've been in 65 mile an hour gusts, but
the wind was averaging 40 mph.  Course those gusts usually blew me
over. It depends how quickly the gust fills in and how long it lasts.

If you had a smaller sail for the 65 mph gust you would be sinking in
the 40 mph stuff. If you had a bigger board you would have a tough
time trying to hold it on the water for a water start, for that matter
a smaller  board would be near impossible.

I suspect that a lot of people get their wind speeds from the news
reports later in the day and can't for a fact verify them. Course I
had this buddy who did have a good wind meter, but he wasn't smart
enough to figure out how standing on hill facing the wind was
increasing his reading. In my experience sailing the Oregon Coast and
the gorge I find that 9 out of ten sailors over estimate wind speed by
5 to 15 mph.

How high a wind is unsailable?

RE: " In my experience sailing the Oregon Coast and the gorge I find that 9 out
of ten sailors over estimate wind speed by 5 to 15 mph."

How do you know you're not UNDERESTIMATING the wind? How do you determine the
windspeed? If you have some secret, accurate method, please let us in on it so
we can stop overestimating it.

Mike \m/
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

How high a wind is unsailable?

As I heard someone say on the beach " when it's really blowing
the gusts are usually worse. That is if it's blowing 40 mph the gusts
can be 20 mph, whereas if it's blowing 30 mph the gusts probably
are around 10 mph. This made sense to me, as I'm a lightweight and
have trouble above 35 mph. I do have a 2.8 sail ( airfoil) and a
8'2' glass board, but for my weight ( 140 lbs),  when it gets near
40 mph I don't have fun. I also love my glass board in high winds.
I had a Seatrend 8'2" atv ( a nice board), but when it's really
blowing I can't hold an epoxy board in the water, ( too bouncy)
Oh well I be able to test all this out in Lake Arenal in Feb.

Paul

How high a wind is unsailable?

Quote:

>I suspect that a lot of people get their wind speeds from the news
>reports later in the day and can't for a fact verify them.
>... <del> ...
>In my experience sailing the Oregon Coast and
>the gorge I find that 9 out of ten sailors over estimate wind speed by
>5 to 15 mph.

Right on... Indeed, most people's perception of the wind speed is way
out of whack with reality. [Of course, there is nothing wrong with
that since it appears that people overestimate pretty much in sync,
thus maintaining the same frame of reference when communicating].

Anyway, for precision & curiosity's sake, recently I acquired a Kestrel
2000. The tool has been staying in my pocket ever since. I've taken
it everywhere with me, measuring the wind speed as soon as I feel a
whiff.  I've tested it in 0 - 65 mph. car speeds and it appears amazingly
precise for its intended purpose.

Together with the measurements that I've taken, I've also asked
informally various windsurfers about what they think the wind is at
any particular moment. Almost universally I got answers that were
quite similar, but quite exaggerated... Then on a bad day there are
those who claimed that there is no wind :-), while others who
preferred to try to remember what Windcall was calling... In truth,
only one guy, one of the better known local racers at Berkeley,
impressed me as being quite on the money when he called the wind.

So, in general when people felt (including me) that it's blowing
around 15 mph (or a "marginal" wind as some feel it is) it was
actually going around 7-8 mph. What feels like 20 mph. is somewhere
around 10-12 mph. And so on... My 'feeling' is that we tend to
perceive the wind speeds at almost double what they are...

In a way that should make us feel better because now we realize at how
much lower wind speeeds we can plane, and I'm definitely not amongst
the first to plane on the water... So, when someone says that he's
planning at 9 mph., then he most  likely is doing it, provided that
the 'real' wind speed is quoted...

Then one wonders -- how come that while the wind speed perceptions are
pretty much in sync between people, they are still so much out of
whack with reality... I think that the wind reporting services are to
blame for that. That is a separate topic in itself, but it seems to me
that the methods by which the wind speeds are reported, calculated,
averaged, etc. are hopelessly obsolete and bear almost no resemblance
to reality.  Partially in the case of the Berkeley Marina, most people
know that the reported wind speed tends to be exaggerated by 5mph and
that it varies by location -- still, the misrepresentation is much
worse than that and has a more complex pattern. But then again, that's
a separate subject...

Regs,

Dimitar

P.S. Actual wind perceptions:

1 mph -- you definitely feel the whiff
2 mph -- you have problem flipping your open newspaper. Feels like
you should go on-line to check the wind report
3 mph -- feels like a nice breeze outside.
5 mph -- mother thinks baby shouldn't go out
10 mph -- feels like a strong breeze. Your wife/girlfriend may cuddle,
while the seaguls plane statically with widely spread wings.
20 mph -- the wind feels strong and very uncomfortable to all
non-windsurfers
25 mph -- feels like it's blasting at 30-40 mph. gale winds.
etc.

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Pontix Consulting, Inc.               http://www.pontix.com/
Personal Info                         http://www.pontix.com/dimitar

How high a wind is unsailable?

Quote:

> .
> .

>   Partially in the case of the Berkeley Marina, most people
> know that the reported wind speed tends to be exaggerated by 5mph and
> that it varies by location -- still, the misrepresentation is much
> worse than that and has a more complex pattern. But then again, that's

> a separate subject...

I have a lot of experience sailing out of the Berkeley Marina, and know
that windspeeds measured on shore there, whether by the wind talker or
hand-held devices (don't even bother listening to the radio), do not
correlate well with on-the-water conditions. The best guides there are
the visual cues: whitecaps, wave size, checking out the flags, knowing
whether it is flooding or ebbing, etc. Also, as one moves out towards
the center of  the Bay the wind speed generally increases. Often in the
Circle it is blowing about five mph harder than in the south Basin.
Local knowledge (and a Mike's Lab) really helps at the Berkeley Marina.

Unsailable conditions are not directly a function of wind speed, but a
combination of speed and chop. I have sailed in 30+ mph conditions on
very flat water and been very comfortable. On the other hand, I have
sailed in 20mph in confused chop, and been quite taxed. In general I've
found that as the wind speed becomes, say, 50% greater than board speed,
control becomes very difficult. I believe this is because the sail angle
is more perpendicular to the board, which forces the sailor to shift
body weight toward the rear of the board. This increase the tendency to
"Wheeley".  Keeping your weight far enough forward to prevent wheelies
increases the chance of sticking the nose into a wave, pitching you
"over the handle bars". Thus, high wind bump  boards have flip noses,
weigh more, have bottom shapes that stick to the water, and are small
and manueverable enough to avoid the worst of the chop.

Prsonally, I don't much care to go out when it is blowing more than 25,
even on the right equipment. But I'm just a Berkeley slalom weenie. But
I can see that with the right equipment, and skill, others could have
fun up to about 35 mph. After that, its just sick: :-)

Bob Jacobson

How high a wind is unsailable?

Re:" I've tested it in 0 - 65 mph. car speeds and it appears amazingly
precise for its intended purpose."

That's surprising, considering that a slipstream around a moving object must
vary significantly, even dramatically in some spots, and both over and under,
from the object's speed.

Mike \m/
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

How high a wind is unsailable?

Quote:
>>Re:" I've tested it in 0 - 65 mph. car speeds and it appears amazingly
>>precise for its intended purpose."
>That's surprising, considering that a slipstream around a moving
>object must vary significantly, even dramatically in some spots, and
>both over and under, from the object's speed.

Well, pick a suitable highway on an approximately windless day, like
this morning for example, and check it out. I'm sure I'm not the only
guy who has done that.  But let me give a few figures that I just
collected on my way to work.

Hwy. 580 West, 5:25 AM. [occasional 1-2 mph whiffs from S-SE].
BMW 325i. Measurement Interval Duration: ~10 secs.

Cruise-control, locked at:                                      60 mph:
On-board computer shows average speed of:                       58.4 mph.
Driver's side window: (less than a hand length) Kestrel shows   58.6 mph.
Through the sunroof:  (nothing spectacular)                     70.7 mph.

Cruise-control, locked at:                                      65 mph:
On-board computer shows average speed of:                       63.3 mph.
Driver's side window: (less than a hand length) Kestrel shows   63.7 mph.
Through the sunroof:  (nothing spectacular)                     74.8 mph.

Could not find a suitable place to measure at lower speeds.

No claim for industrial level precision, just appears as plenty
sufficient for our purposes.

Quote:
>Mike \m/
>Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

Dimitar

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===============================================================================

Pontix Consulting, Inc.               http://www.pontix.com/
Personal Info                         http://www.pontix.com/dimitar

How high a wind is unsailable?

Paul --
Since both of the e-mail addresses in your post are unreachable, I'll port this
right here for you to see:

While at Arenal, do yourself a huge favor: rent a Gorge Animal Bonzer at least
once. Rig big, hit the water, and swerve/slash/jump/land/jibe way beyond
anything you've ever tried before. Just go CRAZY -- push it as hard as you can,
then push it harder, upwind, downwind, every direction! Then come back here and
tell us what you think.

Mike \m/
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

How high a wind is unsailable?

Bob --
Have you sailed the Gorge much, where days over 35 are easy to come by in a
good year? There are an awful lot of sailors out there having an awful lot of
fun then -- with just the boards you described .

Mike \m/
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

How high a wind is unsailable?

I've sailed the gorge for 12 years and the Oregon Coast for 5 or 6
years. I'd say Bob is pretty much right on.  Sure the gorge is
sailable at wind speeds over 35 and its even fun in its own way, but
if I had my drutheres I'd take a wind speed between 25 and 35 for
maximum fun.

The more important factor is current and wind direction. That's what
determines wave height. I'll take relatively ungusty wind conditions
and big waves over the 40 mile an hour wind with big holes that***
up the jumps. Not to mention the wind shifts that come with it. In
that kind of wind the direction is very static and moves quickly. Fun
yes, funnest, no way.

Quote:
>Bob --
>Have you sailed the Gorge much, where days over 35 are easy to come by in a
>good year? There are an awful lot of sailors out there having an awful lot of
>fun then -- with just the boards you described .

>Mike \m/
>Never Leave Wind To Find Wind

How high a wind is unsailable?

Quote:
> Re:" I've tested it in 0 - 65 mph. car speeds and it appears amazingly
> precise for its intended purpose."

> That's surprising, considering that a slipstream around a moving object
must
> vary significantly, even dramatically in some spots, and both over and
under,
> from the object's speed.

Unless that's how it was calibrated at the factory :^)

of course you'd have to careful to use a "generic" vehicle for calibration

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