Board: Flikka Custom Freestyle 125 Sail: 5.9 Severne Freek
The Vulcan has been finally landed. I told Randy before rigging up, that today was going to be the day. Maybe if you tell someone, you will believe it yourself.
After finally planing out of my jibes in 2007 in Aruba, I needed a new windsurfing goal. Andy had me doing jump jibes as a distraction when I was getting discouraged not being able to plane out of my jibes at that clinic. A little later I guess it was Brian, who was getting closer to landing his first Vulcan, that encouraged me to set the bar high. I had no idea how crazy high that bar would actually be for me. I knew it would be not be easy, since they do not even make production freestyle boards for someone my size. I had to first find someone to build a custom freestyle board for my big body without laughing at my idea of trying to land a Vulcan. And so the quest officially began in late 2008/January 2009. Slowly but surely, I eventually figured out the gear part of the equation. In August 2009, I actually started to land and slide backward on a few of my attempts, but shortly thereafter, I had the occasional accidental violent hook-in of the harness line crashes during attempts. That led to 2 broken carbon booms from my body forcefully being flung on top of them. I think my rotation just became more off from there and eventually bad muscle memory was learned. Frustratingly, clinics just did not seem to help fix the problem. In 2011, I ended up in the operating room, this time as the patient, from another hook-in crash gone really bad. But if you know me, once I set a goal, I am not going to give up. I started to have some real doubts a little over a year ago. I clearly remember when I told myself I needed to land it before I turned 45 years old. When I turned 50 and my Vulcan attempts seemed no closer, I thought maybe I just set the bar too high and was eventually going to have to deal with it. I think I finally stumbled on the key to unlock my main issue. For me, it was letting the front arm extend up and downwind before beginning to pull it across my body. This is what led me back to better slides. And with a slide, the chance to grab the other side of the boom.
It was very windy and warm today. My 5.3m2 was out for repair, so I had to make things happen super powered with my 5.9m2 Severne Freek in the 25 mph SE winds. I need to credit Peter and Nina for their enthusiasm and kind support today. I am not sure I would have tried as hard as I did today without them there. I had a very close attempt that I almost sailed away from. Both Randy and Nina witnessed that one, and Randy gave me the key tip to finish one off. I love windsurfing. I know it was not much of a Vulcan, but I definitely will take it.
First Vulcan from Mark 1426 on Vimeo.