VEREIN/KITE CLUB APRENDE A NAVEGAR
December 12th 2014, wind forecast predicted SSW/SW. That means two things, wether you go to Can Pastilla/Arenal/Sa Rapita or you chose Playa de Alcudia.
Some people is arriving to a beach under half cloudy skies with a temperature of 15 Celsius and a thermic sensation of 10-12 at most. The wind is rather gusty, passing from 8-12 kts, every time it turns SW to, 12-18 kts when it re turns to SSW.
And … that it’s the question: To be or not to be? Are you a kiter? a real kiter, I mean? someone that don’t get stopped by the -not so warm weather- and who is also positive enough, well … a mixture of inocency and positiveness at 50 per cent, to dare to rig your kite and go forward?
I must admity that I was carrying only my Flysurfer Speed 3 12 mts and two boards, 137×43 and 160×44, meaning with it that I was “only” willing to go to the water if the wind conditions were really worth of it, that means = 0 desire to make experiments.
The most optimistic -desperate- guys on the beach, start rigging their 12 mts and hit the water. Due to the wind gaps after a while, their are barely keeping their tracks and start to get downwinded.
More people is arriving but even though what is happening, -at least for me, it is evident- the general atmosphere invites the newcomers to start rigging their 12 mts, one of them had a 14 mts and another kite fellow a 16 mts.
As, I am the only person which is around, hands on my jacket pocket’s. I help everybody to launch their kites. More people keeps arriving.
Suddenly, the guy with the 16 mts returns to shore and ask me to catch his kite. I am overpowered man!, I am rigging my twelve! Now has arrived the moment of the truth, rig or do not? Do I trust the wind conditions?
Actually, the last 10 minutes the wind has turn SSW and there are 20 kts, a bit gusty but still, minimum 20 kts. This is when, helping launch this guy and that one, this one, and the last one … I realize that … I don’t trust the wind.
Ten minutes after, everybody is downwinded. The walk of shame starts and except a couple of them, the lightes ones and the one riding his 14 mts kite, who barely are able to return to their starting point, the rest of them have had to walk back 50 to 100 mts … or more, until the launching area, to get in the water again and reiniciate their kite rides.
Fifteen minutes after, the most of the fleet has given up and are landing their kites. Half hour later, just a couple of them are still trying it, the rest of them have, or disappeared from the scene or are just back from their vehicles, in warm clothes, packing all the stuff which they left on the beach.
Sad conclusion of this day: SW is not a suitable wind direction in La Charca – the beggining of Alcudia beach- and if you still really want to give it a try, your best chances are: rigging the kite, stay on the beach and be ready for a couple of rides when the wind picks up.
As soon as you see that wind is decreasing, that means, it has turn away from SSW and has switched to SW, return to the beach and land your kite. The best South wind directions in Alcudia beach are SE, S and SSW. The rest? … a russian roulette.