Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Palo Alto Mud Sailing

Some of the Palo Alto "Mud dogs" are working on sailing through the mud to extend their sailing time. The one thing you DO NOT WANT to do is fall into the middle of the mud as it can take an hour to walk out.  Video and screen capture shots below.
Mike at youtube reports:
Small fin, soft slippery mud and enough wind and it's possible to sail right across the mud flats at the Palo Alto CA sailing site.

On Sept. 20, Jack reported on iWindsurf:
Three of use (Royce, David and I) had a great session from 3-5 PM today on 6.0 and 5.7 with 100L freestyle boards. Because of the ebb the water was flat, flatter and flattest.

The mud was even flatter. I installed my 15cm custom cut mud fin and tried some “Mikey Mud Sailing” (where were you Mike?). What a blast! As you enter the mud/water slurry zone it’s like being on ball bearings. You actually accelerate but have much less fin bite in the mud. You stay on a “mud” plane very easily with the board going a bit sideways. It’s a very weird feeling.

I performed a duck jibe on my most brazen run into the mud. David will vouch for it as he was slogging out thru the mud/water slurry as I jibed in front of him. As I hit the mud everything turned to slow motion just like I was in a dream, it was really bizarre. I intended to do a donkey jibe but thought better as I didn’t want to crash in the slurry (negotiating a sail and body 360 seemed a bit beyond my expertise at the time). Luckily I had a lot of slow motion time to think about it. This was the slowest and strangest full planning duck jibe I’ve ever done. I’m sure I’ll be dreaming about it tonight.

Coming in to the dock at 5pm I went thru 40 yards of pure mud accelerating thru it then slowing down to a slog as I entered the channel.
A couple of things to keep in mind.
  • You need a really short fin. 15cm is 5.9" inches.
  • You want to make sure you can sail in the water with these short fins before you attempt mud sailing with them
  • Make sure the hose works at the cleaning station so you can wash yourself off should you fall into the mud.

Click Stills for larger images:

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