On Sunday I embarked on an epic upwinder/downwinder.
It was about 15km cross upwind as the crow flies. Taking 200 tacks probably 30-40kmin actual distance to get upwind
I kited from East end surf club up past the port through the Sugar loaf Island and up to Oakura and back. Wind was Westerly around 15-20 knots
https://www.google.com/maps/@-39.068740 ... a=!3m1!1e3
https://www.windy.com/-Show---add-more- ... 173.999,13
For a while I have wondered how possible it would be to kite this distance upwind, It's a long way!. Anyway, I decide to go for it and tick it off my bucket list.
On the way up I caught some sweet waves and Bogworks.
Kiting past the port requires looking for and dodging boats coming in and out of the harbor.
Then the kite between the islands is an exercise in avoiding the island wind shadow. The 2 north most Islands are about 80m high. So they have a decent wind shadow.
Also, there is no safe landing spot between the islands if it all goes pear-shaped. You will be washed onto barnacle encrusted rock wall or the port.
Heading upwind through the Islands the sea starts to boil up in front of me with a million small fish jumping out of the water and seabirds diving in to catch them.
I'm always a bit worried about the boiling fish water... What big fish are herding those small fish underneath? I take evasive action and miss the fish.
Heading toward Oakura from the Island was a blast. It was a sweet upwind angle and I had good speed.
The second I got to Oakura a massive cloud banked started to block the sun out. Which would kill the seabreeze once the cloud got to land.
So I had to haul arse back and outrun the cloud so it didn't end up with no wind.
On the way back I had to avoid another boiling water fish fest and stupidly decided to kite in between the rocks on the southern furthermost out island.
I realized my mistake when I got in-between the rocks. The water was just aerated washing machine slop and it immediately punted me off the board.
I had to body drag REAL close to the barnacle-encrusted rocks to get my board back. That was a close one!!..
Blazing back through the islands was sweet other than I had to avoid a fishing trawler chucking out all its leftovers. Again what big fish are lurking around?,,,,
3.5 hours later I make it back to the launch site. What an epic session. Something that would just be impossible to achieve on a regular board.