Foiling kite cat - what a great weekend...NOT!

Hi All,

I’m warming to the Dominic Jack Boolean measure of success:  “Did anyone die?”  Yesterday’s outing on the Nacra was, by that definition, a SUCCESS.  But not good.

The End


(But a longer version is below for suckers for punishment).

L My 16m single skin (SS) kite spent the winter season in NZ.  Although I thought it had been back at the GC for a few weeks, when boxes were opened on Saturday….no kite! 

J TC with NZ contact on Sunday morning: “It must have got left out.  I’m sure it will still be enjoying Wanaka.”  Cautiously positive. 

L Took ages to get cat organised, towed to Sandgate, off trailer onto beach wheels (why do people now always park in MY car park at Sandgate?)…

L No one available to drive support boat (my little inflatable).  So that was deflated and put away (which, it transpired, saved a fair bit of time!).

L Found the push rod end piece in one of the rudders was broken (Could you send a few spares, Ian?).   

J Handy having an engineer on the team…we cobbled together a solution to the push rod problem. 

L Decided to go out anyway – water, at low tide, could be seen our side of Moreton, but only just…man, that’s a lot of flat sand to push a boat across! 

J The upside is that the rigging to hold the beach wheels on now works well so at least the boat stayed on when bouncing through the holes left by stingrays. 

:-  Graham and I launched the cat and got it to deep enough water (about 500mm) to install boards (ie in cases, but not down). 

L Really difficult to afix horizontal foils to vertical boards in the chop.  Won’t be trying that again (which I guess, William, cuts us out of any Le Mans starts at Round Texel!).

:-  I launched 11m LEI while Graham stayed with boat.  This all takes a fair bit of time.

J Returned to boat with kite and had an uneventful (successful even – no one died!) mount.  Tootled off slowly to get into deeper water, kite still on pilot, not transferred to boat. 

J New line/pulley steering works well.

J Managed to remember to put the GPS recording gear on board this outing.

L When in deeper water, Graham put the port daggerboard down…but in so doing somehow the wand was damaged.  End of outing!  Bummer.

L Transpires that even about 2knots produces too much drag to enable the daggerboard, which requires forward rake, to be pushed down…might have to make some adjustments there.

L Returned to beach with one of the daggerboards very difficult to keep raised.

:-  I jumped off the boat, dropped the kite, and returned to help get boards off before coming in too shallow (we’re at about 500mm….though with the chop, this was actually from 200mm to 800mm deep!)

L Horizontal foils very difficult to get off in the chop.

L When I did finally get the 2nd rudder horizontal foil off, I dropped it and couldn’t find it.

L I cried.

L While holding my position (so as not to lose the daggerboard even more), Graham was having some difficulty with the cat. 

J Slav turned up on a twin tip.  I commissioned him to hold position while Graham and I anchored the cat.  I don’t think he knew why I was crying….

J Slav stubbed his tow on the missing foil and picked it up!  Excellent.  (Owe you one, Slav.)

L While I was getting to Graham, one of the rudders (vertical board), which is very difficult to put down when you need it down, slid down – b’doing…that would be another push rod end snapped on the bottom.  But the well-made rudder boxes held up to the slamming well – thanks Ken & Daniel.

:- Having observed my incompetence with the rudder horizontals, Graham removed the daggerboard horizontal foils.  No dramas – though far from easy.

L About 1.5 hours to get the gear back to the car, sorted out, and onto the trailer.

L Got home – no beer in fridge.

Future plans/procedures: 

a)      Keep Nacra on Graham’s pontoon (rollers going on tomorrow) (Newport).

b)      Have chase boat ready in canal. 

c)       Book commercial skipper for chase boat when we go out (Andrew is Graham’s son - but he really is a commercial skipper!). 

d)      Install boards while on canal bank (ie in shallow enough water to get the horizontals in) – no chop!

e)      Back to pontoon (deep water) to drop and lock boards to operating depth.

f)       Support boat tow us out to deep water.

g)      Drift launch a kite (not an SS!) (pumping up on board has been done, but that procedure will need improving – might use ram air foils instead).

h)      Have fun foiling!

i)        Ensure there is beer in the fridge before I leave.

Anyone with free time during the week who could come out in a support boat, please let me know – Andrew is not available all the time.  Hoping to get out in the moderate breezes forecast for later this week.