Coral Bay — and a few dramas…

Just when you think you’ve done the hard bit and the easiest and most hassle-free part of the journey is now ahead of you, the dramas begin to unfold…

Ian left 3-Mile Camp/Tombstones yesterday afternoon with what seemed to be pretty steady and gentle winds ahead. Then about 20km north of Gnaraloo Bay  the wind went a bit crazy, changing directions — even a near-180 degree shift at times to northerlies, with the gusts whipping the kite about madly. I didn’t ask, but I’m guessing that he was flying the 19m at the time. The gusts worsened, swung southerly again and he began getting yanked about as the wind ramped up and down.

At this stage he’ gone too far to head back to Gnaraloo, so with no choice but to continue, running pretty much straight downwind — ironically, one of the most difficult directions to deal with  on a downwinder when it gets gusty, as you’re constantly getting yanked along, outrunning the kite and forever trying to keep the kite from falling out of the sky.

Late afternoon an extra-strong gust ploughs into the kite, blasting the harness apart, ripping the whole rig off, taking the kite, harness, bar line and the leash — and leaving Ian behind, floating with only the board.

He does his best to swim, towing the board,  towards the kite and the rig, now in the water several hundred metres downwind.  After a considerable swim, he’s still roughly 500-600m from the beach at this stage — he manages to catch up with the kite, harness, bar and lines, but because the harness has been ripped apart, he has no way to re-attach the harness. He’s left with no choice but to relaunch the kite (yes, you CAN relaunch a foil from the water!) and try and work his way across the wind back toward the beach, unhooked.

Remember, he’s flying a 19m foil.

After relaunching the kite, even fully depowered, it’s nearly impossible to hang onto it with the gusts and no harness, as the only way to fly is hanging onto the bar with one hand and holding the chicken loop with the other to keep it depowered as much as possible. (remember, his harness has been ripped apart)

The kite goes down a couple more times, Ian relaunches it, finally having to hold onto one side of the bar and kiteloop it over and over to make some downwind progress without losing hold of the kite.  After all the up and down action, at some stage the spreader bar disengages from the harness and is lost.

After some time (remember, wind here is straight cross-shore so you’re getting pulled along the beach, not toward it) Ian manages to edge enough to kite along the beach another 24km (without a harness) where, just before dark, (640pm according to he GPS), coincidentally, he encounters a young bloke, Joey, who’s been taking photos of him — and turns out to be a kiter!

Joey’s camped nearby and Ian attempts to contact the crew, but to no avail.  Joey offers Ian his extra swag and some red wine and before long the red is gone and they crash out.

Turns out that the crew vehicle has had TWO flats while trying to reach Ian, so they were unable to make it to the camp.

This morning, Ian has tied up the harness with some rope and (I’m assuming) has fashioned some form of a make-shift spreader bar that’s allowed him to continue kiting. He’s launched as the wind came in, kiting the remainder of the distance to Coral Bay to await the arrival of the support crew.

My most recent GPS coordinates (1505hrs) showed him stationary at a Coral Bay venue which appears to be the pub…

CoralBay_Pub

IanYoungGPSTracks_16Nov2014

15 November 2014 Ian Young Mission Update

Just spoke with him on the satellite phone about an hour ago. He made it from Carnarvon to Blowholes y’day. Wind at Blowholes had just swung south and started to pick up. Looks like he’s launched the kite and just left the beach at 1207. Forecast is calling 10-15 knots from South initially, turing SW then increasing to 15-20 later, so Ian’s on the 10m Flysurfer today. Today’s target is the Gnaraloo/Toombstones region if all goes to plan, which is about 75km in point-to-point distance. Next possible stopping point is Coral Bay, which is another 90 km beyond Gnaraloo, so suspect he’ll tackle that bit on on another day.

Ian made the news on GWN7 last night. Here’s the clip:

https://au.gwn7.yahoo.com/w1/video/-/watch/25520767/epic-kite-surfing-journey-almost-complete/

Blowholes
Blowholes
75 km from Blowholes to Toombstones
75 km from Blowholes to Toombstones

Snow kiting session @ Thredbo

Hi All,

This weekend I managed to get my first good now kite in! I was up in Thredbo for the weekend for a birthday weekend away and managed to sneak away on the Saturday and hook up with a few of the local snow nutters and get a really good session in!

I learnt a LOT in my first proper session that I’ll share at a later time. Some really useful tips that I learnt from the others that make life easier and safer. It’s bloody dangerous on top of the mountain so you need to take care. So after more that 15 years off ski’s I thought I’d strap on a pair and give it a good go, I didn’t break a leg so all went well. Big Thanks to Martin for all the help, can’t wait to get up there with Jen Milton and get some serious training in.

For those people thinking about heading up and giving it a go we’ll get some good safety tips for you up here! Here are some pics that I managed to snap whilst up there. I’m riding the Cabrinha 7m Drifter here (2014) with the new – and fantastic – 2015 X1 Overdrive bar! What a huge improvement!

Enjoy.

Kitechicks Eleven Report

The weekend of the 22nd of March saw the eleventh KiteChicks event descend on the shores of Culburra located on the outside of Jervis Bay in NSW.  25 girls and 7 instructors and coaches attended the latest incarnation of the KiteChicks training camps that are run by volunteers, passionate about kitesurfing to help introduce women into the sport and aid in bringing like minded girls together. The camps cater for all levels from complete beginners to confident kiters looking to improve and hone their skills.

Kitesurfing.com.au’s Pete was proud to be asked to head down as a coach again this time around and once again, this event has been a cracker!

Culburra is a near perfect location for running this type of event,

[googlemap src=”https://www.google.com.au/maps?ll=-34.93126,150.779457&spn=0.095981,0.299721&t=h&z=12″ width=”300″ height=”300″ align=”aligncenter” ]

There is almost enough of everything to suit every skill level, there are waves and sea for the more advanced girls, flat shallow water for teaching and when the water levels are right a large lake that can cater for all sorts of riding and teaching. Couple this with perfect beaches, good coffee shops and a brilliant pad for everyone to crash in you can’t really go wrong. There is also a raft of other activities that can be had close by.

The event this year has been taken over by Maja, new to organising kitechicks but not new to attending she had put a lot of work into organising everything and it paid off, this had to be the most relaxed and enjoyable kitechicks I’ve been involved in.

Saturday

Saturday morning started with a mad panic of surfing, most of the girls attending this year have a passion for surfing I’d not seen before on this scale. Culburra has a few sneaky little surf breaks around. Reasonable small waves were had before breakfast and with a 9am deadline for Yoga the surf cleared out for the first kitechicks yoga session. Instructors and students alike got all bendy on the grass (and bitten by sand flies)

Introductions and formalities of a team event came next with Maja introducing everyone and the instructors to their groups. With a changeable forecast for wind and a real requirement to keep people sane the girls split up into groups for other activities like SUP’ing and surfing. Thanks to WindSurfNSnow Watersports we had the use of 3 SUP’s that proved fantastic entertainment on the flat water of the river.

A small building Nor-East breeze at about 1pm caused a sudden flurry of activity with girls and instructors dashing for kites. Mel made the most of it with a brief 15 minute session on the flat protected waters of the river before a thunderstorm and rain really screwed things up by killing all the wind! Things were looking pretty bleak for Saturday from this point but a small semi-forecast southerly came through in the mid arvo that once again got everyone moving and heading down to various locations to commence the kiting.

I took my group (the wave and surfboard riding girls) out to the main beach opposite the lagoon to check it out. There was enough wind to kite but its a little cross-off. I explained and pointed out the obvious dangers to the girls who were keen to get stuck into it. Things didn’t go so well with the wind, currents and waves proving a little too hard (I had a go and it really was a struggle) so we moved into the almost empty and VERY murky lagoon to practice a few things on twintips that the girls wanted to learn. Whilst this was going on there were trainer kites and girls getting there first feel for flying kites! Smiles everywhere! The beach at the lagoon offers an incredibly large area for teaching!

This fun continued until the light ran out. This got everyone back to the accommodation for a well deserved shower and onto dinner. I have to hand to the organisation here, with everyone chipping into helping out and a well laid food plan we were served up a real treat. I’m not sure if there are any photos but with super healthy fish and other healthy bits my tummy hasn’t seen in a long time everyone was getting stuck in!

Memories fade after dinner, I remember rum, I remember tequila, I remember a man in a bikini and playing ping pong with a SUP paddle! Happy days.

Sunday

A weary start for many on Sunday and a coffee run is always welcome. The weather is great and there is a real buzz of excitement in the house. This unfortunately comes to an end after the 9am Yoga as the house needs cleaning, but not before a killer breakfast! With everyone chipping into cleaning up the house it doesn’t take long and we are out at lunch. The wind forecast is rubbish which is a shame but everyone is keen to make the most of the weekend away and heads back to the beach for a surf. I’ve never seen so many women in the surf before and after speaking to a local, neither have they!

Supping and great warm waves are being had all round, for those that don’t surf great conversation and laughs on the beach.

With this thought of a long drive home many people started to pack their cars and head home. This turned out to be a small mistake! Even tho a small Nor-Easter had been building all day at 3pm the remainder of the people decided that was time to pack up. I decided to make the call tho – It’s ON! So whilst people are packing up, I’m pumping up! with a mostly sceptical response I pump up the new 2014 12m Cabrinha Siren (yes its PINK!) and I grab the surfboard. Oh it’s ON! After about 15mins of smashing back and forth and catching waves I look back to the shore to see a flurry of activity and kites getting pumped up!

With 2 of my 3 girls still remaining its back to coaching for me :) I lend the 12m to Tatiana who heads out to battle her fears after a few years out of the surf to see her slip back into a familiar old skool kiting style that is sadly missing in todays kiting. Maja heads out on her new North 5’10” whip. – a seriously good surfboard for kiting! – and start practicing her carves to toeside. With a good stiff breeze that would have seen me put up a 9m the rest soon followed and great wind was had until about 5pm at which point we had to call it a day and head back to Sydney! What a finish!

Overall, this has been the most enjoyable kitechicks I’ve attended, a real pleasure to help out! remembering this event is run by volunteers just makes it all the more special. It’s also great to see help from within the industry to back it. NSWKBA, WindSurfNSnow, Alliance GearKitepower, Balance Water to name the ones I can remember. The tireless efforts of Maja, Lise and Lauren in organising everything. Giovani Genovali for being the kitelauncher and photographer for the weekend (he thought it was a hard job), All the coaches and instructors and everyone who attended and help make it possible.

More pictures to follow when we get them.

VIDEO : Australia Day Long Weekend

OK. So this isn’t the finest bit of video production. It took about 2 mins whilst skyping with the parentals so I wasn’t putting lots of effort in. As you can see we had some small go pro issues with water on the lens and this is about all the footage we were able to use.

Anyway, wind was good, weather was fine, company was outstanding. We also ran into Jen so there is a guest appearance from her.

Don’t complain about the bop bop music! Haha

Blast from the past : A Picnic Point Mission!

Ok, for the last of the ‘Blast from the past’ posts for a while I’ve dug up a vid that I made waaaay back. I sort of remember these times. I was riding a 10m Turbo Diesel back then that I remember correctly was a total handful and really powerful, it was a good kite when it wasn’t inverted and trying to kill you! Emily (if you remember her) was still here and Aya was just learning. Those that remember Das Manly Kite Haus should also remember ‘Arnie’ or Andre the giant and Gav who is still riding the 14m GK Sonic light wind wonder kite.

Picnic Point is up at the Entrance on the central coast. It’s one of the only spots that really works in winter time and can produce some bonkers westerly conditions with epic flat, cold water.

I remember this day as we all bunked off work to head up there for the day on a mid-week mission. It really was cold! I’ve not been up to Picnic Point for a while but the last time I was there the field where we used to launch from is quite overgrown now and the weed in the lake can be a problem. Still it’s a good spot. Actually, I do remember the last time I was there now. It was my birthday in May last year and TwoFin and I both had to buy twin tips so we didn’t have to kite on surfboards all day!

Here is a map of where Picnic Point is for those that don’t know.

[googlemap src=”https://maps.google.com/maps?q=The+Entrance,+New+South+Wales,+Australia&hl=en&ll=-33.324504,151.491165&spn=0.189909,0.358086&sll=-33.823368,151.307831&sspn=0.188814,0.358086&oq=the+entrance&hnear=The+Entrance+New+South+Wales,+Australia&t=m&z=12″ width=”100%” height=”400″ align=”aligncenter”]

Blast from the past : A kite trip to Fiji in 2008

I love digging through old stuff. Another blast from the past was a holiday I took back in 2008 to Fiji with Glenn from Xshore. The trip was stunning with some incredible locations.

A few of the local crew were there also, BVZ (retired), Aya and Shane.

Fiji really is a top location for a kite holiday if you are lucky with wind. I’d love to hit up more waves if I go there next time.

This video is only part 1, Old youTube time limits must have been why the whole thing isn’t there. I’m going to have to dig for part 2!

 

VIDEO : Old Bar quadcopter footage

Here is a spectacular video by Jezza shot up at Old Bar the other day. Jezza is getting gutsy now with the quadcopter and is getting some stunning footage. Well done Jezza. Keep us updated with more when you have them.

If you like the vid, leave Jezza a nice comment in the comments at the bottom. If you hate it feel free to rant away at him :)

 

Pete’s Torres Crossing footage

I’ve finally gotten around to looking over the GoPro footage from the Torres crossing over the last week on my road trip and did a dead quick knock up video of some of the usable bits. It still brings back some good memories. I’m sure there is more footage around from other peoples cameras that hasn’t seen the light of day yet too, I really hope it eventually surfaces.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy it.