Strongest Wind You've Sailed?

Strongest Wind You've Sailed?

Post by RBBa » Tue, 20 Jun 2000 04:00:00

Strongest winds for me were in Turnagain Arm in Southwestern Alaska.  I was on
a 3.2 and a 8' 4" Hi Tech wave board and mostly out of control.  The water was
literally smoking - sheets of windblown spray *** along.  It was
definately survival sailing for the truly stupid!  I have sailed 3.5 conditions
that were pretty hairy, but that experience was beyond extreme.  If you ever
get the chance - don't do it!  ray

Strongest Wind You've Sailed?

Post by winzur » Tue, 20 Jun 2000 04:00:00

In my experience and under those type of conditions getting to the water and
getting off the beach is the hardest part

> Well, how about the strongest wind I didn't sail.

> It was at Seneca Lake in the finger lakes of upstate New York, years ago.
> weather radio was reporting gusts up to 75 mph and I was ready to go.  I
> up my sailing buddy Dan, hoping he might be stupid enough to join me.
> Dan (who has infinitely more common sense than yours truly) wasn't exactly
> jumping at the opportunity.  I explained that we would probably never have
> chance to sail this kind of wind ever again.  In my mind, this was a once
in a
> lifetime proposition.  But, Dan wasn't budging and in my desperation, I
> getting increasingly obnoxious. Finally, his girlfriend got on the phone
> explained that a 60 foot oak tree had just been blown down in their yard
> that he wasn't going anywhere.  Exasperated, I gave up on Dan.
> Well shit, if he wasn't going to join me, I'd just go it alone.  I was not
> missing a day like this.  So, I packed up and headed to the lake.  When I
> pulled up to the park, the wind was absolutely howling. It was coming out
> the west straight onshore.  Just standing along the shoreline was a
> proposition as I was being pelted by a barrage of wind blasted spray.  All
> was thinking was "oh man, this is gonna be good !"  Scared ?, no way, I
was too
> stupid to be scared.
> So I threw on my wetsuit, got my Tiga Slalom 280 off the car (the wind
> at the board, nearly ripping it out of my hands several times). With some
> difficulty, I rigged my smallest sail, a Simmer 4.6.  Given the now nearly
> hurricane force wind, I decided I'd better outhaul my sail totally flat.
As I
> reached for the clew of the sail, the wind picked up the sail and slammed
> into me, pinning me against the side of my rusty station wagon. There I
> flailing helplessly as the wind drove the sail against me w/ the power a
> freight train. After what seemed like minutes of getting thrashed against
> side of my vehicle, I escaped w/ my life, if not my pride.  I quickly
> around and realized there were no witnesses to the carnage.  Undeterred, I
> checked my sail-no major damage- time to sail (this was BM -before
> All that was left was to drag my rig to the water and rip it up ! Tucking
> board under one arm and the sail under the other, I tried to walk upwind
> the water.  I went nowhere, the wind was so strong I couldn't make any
> progress.  Determined, I would lower my head and take a couple steps
> just to be hit w/ a gust that would send me reeling back to where I
started. I
> struggled for nearly 10 minutes just to reach the water.
> Suddenly, I had a brief moment of clarity (maybe sanity is the better
> The wind induced fog, which had enshrouded my synapses, began to lift and

am I
> going to sail ?
> That was as close as I came to sailing that day.

> Just thought somebody ought to expose the ugly side of wind ***ion.


Strongest Wind You've Sailed?

Post by Dave » Tue, 20 Jun 2000 04:00:00

> Well, how about the strongest wind I didn't sail.

> It was at Seneca Lake in the finger lakes of upstate New York, years


Oh man!  That's a funny story!  I'm laughing out loud at that one.  You
get the all time award for sheer determination, even if you never made
it out.

I started in the pre-monofilm days too, and can remember attempting
similar dumb stuff (don't take that personally) in similar
circumstances.  On my first Hatteras trip in October of 1984 I can
remember one unbelievably windy day when I actually thought I could
give it a go with 5.0, which was my smallest sail at the time.  The
wind was blowing so hard I couldn't even rig the sail much less take it
to the water.  Canadians were getting blown around like popcorn in a
hurricane.  What was I thinking?  Fortunately, I came to my senses and
packed it in for the day.

Dave O

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