Wow! Today was my third day out at Crissy Field this season. Here are a
Last Sunday was my first day out. I was totally unprepared for it and only
lasted about an hour before my arms gave out. I made about two jibes
that day; the main problem was*** onto the boom after I unhooked, it
just kept ripping out of my fingers (cold and numb).
I tried to sail on Thursday but got skunked, despite weather predictions of
30mph. It was blowing out of the north. I wish I had a course board and a
6.8 for that day, I could have had a relaxing cruise from Crissy to Berkeley
and back (the easy way, the studly sailors do it when the winds are westerly)
and raced the tour boats across the Bay. Earlier in the week I hear reports
of 35+ at Coyote Point.
Yesterday was a good first "real" day. I gained some arm and hand
strength during the week, and it was a nice 5.0 day. It died for
about an hour starting at 3:30PM, but came back up and blew until
around 6:30. I made about half my jibes.
Today (Sunday) it howled. It blew 4.5 or harder from 2PM to 7PM. There
were at least 200 sails on the water. It was as crowded as the biggest
summer days of last year. Others who have sailed Crissy in past years told
me that they'd never seen this many people at this time of year. I'm
optimistic, I think everyone knew it was going to blow, and lots of people
are staying here and not going to Rio Vista. I think the crowd will thin
out as the season progresses and people go to other places to sail.
For a while it really cranked, some of the men were on 4.0s. The tide
wasn't going the right way to produce big chop, but some of the hot shots
were getting ten foot high jumps. I was making 75% of my jibes and
suprised that I was. My main problem was not keeping the mast close enough
to me - the sail was too far away from me after I flipped it. The rest of
the jibe was ok, only when I would try to sheet in would I fall in.
Other than that I was happy to be doing so well so early.
The water is still pretty cold, colder than I've ever sailed in at Crissy.
I had to stop every half hour and warm my hands up. Some people suggested
***dishwashing gloves under windsurfing gloves, sealed with tape and
tucked under your wetsuit sleeves.
With the crowds comes the chance of an accident on the water. Right when
I got to Crissy I saw a guy down towards Alcatraz heading right in front
of one of the big passenger Catamarans. It blew its horn and the guy fell
in. From where I was, it looked like he fell in front of it and I thought
he was a goner (the propellers are in the tunnel), but he fell in before
he crossed its path. He also went right through a sailboat fleet before
that, I guess he likes to live dangerously. I try to keep my distance from
tightly grouped sailboat fleets, if they're spread out I'll sail through them,
always trying to go behind any boat I sail near. I also had several incidents
where someone failed to yield the right of way (no big deal) and a few others
where people on the same tack jibed right in front of me. Correct me if I'm
wrong, but my understanding was that a sailor who is turning has no rights
and has to yield to everyone, regardless of the tack. Earlier I read
a posting here where someone complained about a sailor "who came out of
nowhere" while he was jibing. I think the sailor who was jibing is at
fault, although the other sailor must still try to avoid a collision,
regardless of what the person at fault was doing.
At about 5:15PM, the biggest ship I've ever seen came through Golden
Gate. It was a Navy Aircraft Carrier, I don't know which one but it
had a 72 (CV-72??) on it.
I didn't see that much new equipment. I guess it's still pretty early
in the season, plus most people seems to have equipment of fairly recent
vintage now. The most popular board at Crissy is easily the Mistral
Stinger. I own one so I can make some guesses why. It's about the right
size for most sailing at Crissy (4.2 - 5.7), and the "speed dent" really
eats up the big chop. It's not the fastest board around, but since it's
so easy to control, you don't have to hold anything back and can just
"send it" into the big gusts and chop.
The most popular sail appears to be the Waddell Surf Slalom. The most popular
'91 sails appear to be the Windwing Race, North Prisma, and Waddell Mono
Slalom, in that order.