Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the voodoo chop test

Yesterdays session was one of those rare winter delights where wind, water, sun and moon all combined for a long overdue mid winter session. As I rigged my 10.0 and ML10, I saw the wind was already up to the upper teens and building + the flood was coming in strong.

Anybody who's ever sailed in the San Francisco Bay knows about the converging currents. Sometimes the transition from the incoming ebb and outgoing flood is subtle. Other times, its a washing machine of furious boiling water- otherwise known as voodoo chop.

This session would be all about how the new board handled in big voodoo chop.
I had a few worries as the board is much bigger this year compared to any earlier ML formula board. The ML10 measures 85 cm wide 1' foot off the tail.
I lined up to go through the incoming flood tide- a vicious wall of water with square chop 2-3' high. Both upwind and downwind, the ML10 performed really well- spinning out just once.
The chicken and double strap are lifesavers for taking the pressure off the fin while still driving the board deep downwind.
Upwind, if you can keep everything locked down and the board driving and just flies right over the chop.
I never felt too overpowered with the 67 kashy fin and base set at 45" with the gust @22-25k
I did move the booms down later in the session for a bit more control- which helped in the bigger stuff.
Overall- very comfortable ride- even in the roughest of conditions the SF Bay had to offer.

Meanwhile up at Fort Point, at the mouth of the Bay, the sets were firing with the big swell that's been rolling in all winter.
Thanks to the horse's mouth for the surfing photo of the day