5-24-12 will henceforth be known as BIG THURSDAY.
Iwindsurf’s Mike Godsey’s 7am forecast was spot on with the pressure gradients reading off the charts @ .24!
I usually start to pay attention when they reach .07 to .09.
The “skirt alert” was quickly turned into “hang onto your car” warning!
The wind and the swell in the upper half of the San Francisco Bay went off like Ive never seen in my 12+ years of windsurfing here. The Bay was turned into a frothy mess. By 5pm the wind spiked up to a solid 30k and gusting up to 40k+.
City front gust are spastic gusts like a back hand slap to a raw cheek!
They turn whitecaps into liquid spray.
They separate the boys from the men.
The port tack ramps lined up with such precision they practically launched you into orbit.
The starboard tack swell, not to be outdone, was of epic proportions- similar to that at the hatchery on a good day in the gorge.
Did I mention sunshine.
The golden gate was at it’s finest with a warm orange twilight glow coming across the Marin headlands and through the iconic golden gate bridge.
Without a doubt- it was one of the finest sessions I’ve ever had on the San Francisco Bay.
I hesitated on what to rig when I got to the beach as it was already gusting into the low 30′s in the early afternoon but we were in a 4:30 lull that calmed things down when I arrived.
I rigged up the bread and butter of my slalom quiver- 7.0 and 39 cm fin on my 105l light weight ml slalom board.
10 min later after a few runs to the middle of the bay and I already knew I was in trouble.
I’m not ashamed to admit defeat when I’m there.
Windsurfing is no fun when you’re not dialed into your equipment.
1-2m2 can make the difference between being powered and stupidly over powered.
I came in and switched down to my 85l ml free ride slalom board with 32cm fin and 6.3 north warp.
I was still super wound but beginning to enjoy the flow rather than being at the mercy of it.
Finally I moved my booms all the way down in the boom cut out on my sail and had way better control as I carved down the 5-6′ breaking swell and flew across the San Francisco Bay.
There was just a handful of us windsurfers as the kites were off racing to leeward and only came upwind a few times to round their windward mark set near the Presidio shoal. I saw some kite mares unfolding before my eyes as the race crew tried to make their way around the course on their 70cm race boards and 9m kites in 30-40k winds.
The consensus from the windsurfing side of the beach – “the best day this season.”
The consensus from kite beach,”OMFG- I cant believe I survived. WTF was I thinking kite racing in that breeze.”
Oh to be a windsurfer!
Everyone one of stayed out as long as we could, not to be outdone by the lucky few who were ripping it up. Every time I came back to the beach to catch my breath and let my pulse drop below 150, I looked out and saw 10 locals having the time of their lives.
I headed back out for ‘just one more run,’ which turned into 5 or 6.
The stoke level was at it highest its been and the grins on our faces couldn’t be wiped off.
BIG THURSDAY will go down in the record books as a day to remember!