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Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

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Hugh2
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Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Hugh2 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:16 pm

It was a great day here with the SEaster, which has been rather absent this month, returning with a vengeance. I was powered up on 9m Pivot from 3-5PM for a downwinder from Kite Beach to Haakgat, then came back to watch the pros. Kevin Langaree, Lasse Walker, and Gijs Wassenaar were riding just north of Kite Beach and putting on a show (don't really have to stick around for the KOTA with these guys around, although it was rather busy all along Bloubergstrand, so they had to pick their jumps carefully).

But up at Kite Beach itself there was an accident. I did not see this one myself, but talked with some who did. A visiting woman was launching her kite when she got lofted and landed on the beach, breaking both legs and her hip. Off to hospital in an ambulance as I arrived. I hope she recovers well.
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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby matth » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:33 pm

Sad to hear this news.

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Toby
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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Toby » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:42 pm

Good to hear she didn’t die...wishing a speedy recovery!

Was it during launching, landing or standing around on the beach?

Hugh2
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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Hugh2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:24 am

Apparently during launch, but I don't have details as I did not see it happen. Yesterday was a great day here, with perhaps a thousand kiters along Bloubergstrand coming and going throughout the day (the morning was good too, with a short lull at midday), but still sad to see someone get hurt. I have no idea how experienced they were. Occasionally we have folks here (just like myself 10 years ago) who are kiting here for the first time and are not used to winds this strong or waves this big and struggle a bit. At the time of the accident I would have needed my 7m kite, but was exhausted from my downwinder so did not go out again, just watched the pro-show.

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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Van Hunk » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:25 am

From a CT local’s perspective it is a miracle that not more tourists wreck themselves on our beautiful beaches. The heady cocktail of holiday vibes, ego, buffed up machismo (shitballs there is a lot of that among the tourists) and heavy nuking winds result in an environment which can kick the best of the best in the teeth. Just ask the likes of Richman, Jacobsen, Akkerdijk and Crathern how wrong things can go down here.

So to all the mere mortals and super humans alike. Respect the conditions otherwise Cape Town has the ability to chew you up.

Also just a reminder to smile and be lekker (lekker = friendly, joyful and respectful to other water users) - you are in one of the the best spots on the planet after all.

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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Strekke » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:47 am

Although I'm not a local, I fully agree with the above post. The number of people I see in CT that shouldn't be on the water in those conditions in the first place, is staggering. So many people out there that are teabagging their way across the water, completely overpowered, no edge control, and not respecting the right of way. And then the wannabe's that jump medium jumps at best and fly super far downwind, again not taking other riders into account and crossing lines etc. Some days it's a real shit show.

So if you're an intermediate or beginner kiter that is not used to strong 7m winds and 2-3m waves, and that does not know how to respect the right of way, just stay away until you reach the level you need. And don't come endanger yourself or others, because you're taking up space and ruining it for those who do know what they're doing. Same goes for the waves in Mauritius btw (looking at you, helmet-floaty-specs-TTwithboardleash coming to "jump" at Manawa).
/endrant

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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Hugh2 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Just had another good day at kitebeach with downwinder to Haakgat. Very busy day as once again we had a non-windy spell. Frankly, most people were very well behaved, the only obnoxious ones being the occasional surfboard rider who thinks everyone should get out of his way as he barrels down the line. That's just unrealistic when there are so many regular TT riders going back and forth. Those guys should go north of Big Bay instead, or stay south at Sunset Beach.

I got back to kitebeach just in time to see the finals of the local Big Air competition this afternoon, and I thought both the women and men did well, best woo height was 21m as the wind was not that strong, only completely filling in after the competition was over around 5:30 PM, see below.
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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Toby » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:10 pm

This is always so sad...guys on surf boards think its their wave not giving space to the guys who want to jump the wave.
One should understand if there are more TT riders go somewhere else. And if there are more surf board riders, TTs should go somewhere else.

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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby Hugh2 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:20 am

There is a general split in Cape Town. Sunset beach is mostly windsurfers with a few kiters, mostly on directionals. This is because the SEaster is slightly offshore and a more gusty there, which is unsettling for most kiters, but perfect for the windsurfers and wave shape. This is a real Euro scene, with only a few locals, mostly starting downwinders. Only the occasional windsurfer is seen between there and Haakgat.

Dolphin beach is a favorite for kiters both TT and directional, as is Kitebeach and the rest of Bloubergstrand of course, but most of the folks on directionals are doing bottom turns and cutbacks and not just riding down the line, in part because the waves break in a mostly uniform line, so you only get one or two bottom turns per wave.

Beyond Big Bay, which I do not enjoy as the wind is fluky there, going north are waves with a different dynamic, instead of long evenly breaking swells coming from the southern ocean, here they form halfmoon crescents and if you get it right, scooting down the line through them is great fun (but the punishment if you misjudge can be severe when the waves are big, as they peak in the center of the crescent and can easily be double overhead. The beach is mostly continuous here with a few rocks to avoid, and names like Eestesteen and Derdesteen (meaning first and third rock) and Kelpbaai, a slight bay with kelp just before Haakgat. And there are very few other kiters along this whole stretch of a couple of miles, mostly on directionals, so no conflicts arise.

Finally, downwind and further north at Haakgat is where there is a slight point so one finally gets a good left break, and when the wind is strong and the waves are big, this is where the good riders come to play, both windsurfers and kitesurfers on directionals. In those conditions I generally stay out of the lineup and just pass on by to Holbaai and my ride back to Kitebeach or Sunset where I started my downwinder. It's all fun, especially away from the crowds at Kitebeach, and I do my downwinders on TT, strapped directional, or strapless, depending on waves and wind and mood.

There are a few of us who sometimes start our downwinders even further south, at Milnerton lighthouse, and I even start some at Milnerton Lagoon, but the conditions are tricky to say the least (side-offshore and gusty), and one is almost always on ones own (having a problem here when offshore any distance would be bad news, except that on weekends and holidays there are lifeguards at Milnerton beach who will come and get you, don't ask how I know!). The only time others kite there is on NW conditions, which are rare in summer, but common in winter.

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Re: Accident at Kite Beach, Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Postby markymarc » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:16 pm

Dear Hugh2,

Thanks a lot for further explaining situation around CPT. I will be going there for 2 weeks very soon. If you search for messages which areas to kite best in this area, they are a bit fluffy around the internet. I know.. unfortunately the busiest time of the season. I've kited around the world, but never been to CPT.
I will take care of others and know the rules and kite on the Northsea until around 40 knots. So pretty experienced and I've had my kitemares (you know what I mean..).
One question w.r.t. wetsuit.. I checked that the current water temperature is around 16 Celsius in this area (same as early summer in Holland). I plan to take my Rip Curl E-bomb (old suit) which is 5/4 or 5/3 but I took the sleeves partly off, as well as the legs (just below the knee). Is that ok? I just see everybody around there with long arms and long legs.. Is that for the temperature or sun protection?
Thanks and btw. sorry to be a bit off topic..


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