Sat 4-29-2006/ Kiting in Van's Tavern

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Sat 4-29-2006/ Kiting in Van's Tavern

Man-oh-man….. 4-29-06 will go down the memory of a few, as one of the best kitting sessions in Lake Lanier ever….

6:30 am, already up, checked the weather online and to my surprise it was forcasting less than spectacular wind (10-13 mph) but enough to log a good a kiting session. Loaded the car, off to Lanier by 7:15 AM. Even the tallest tree wasn’t moving at all, not even the smallest leaf… Not a good sign, so I thought. 400 north already, no wind. Maybe breakfast will warm my hart (since there is no wind), and decided to make “technical stop” at La Madelaine. 7:45 am, half way through my cofee and croisand, I called Guilmer Memorial weather observation hot line. “1234 Zulu, cero seven cero (East direction), Wind Speed One tree, Gusting to one niner”. What?…IT IS BLOWING in Lanier. Dropped the coffe, eat the remaining ½ croisant in 3 secs flat, and start calling Mel… Where are you?. We are missing it!. 8:10 AM heading North on 400, cel goes off, it was Richard who already was out in Van’s Tavern. He saids “ where are you?, there are white caps, all over the place”. Everythings stops… from that moment on every second counts, every minute feel like an eternity.

8:30 AM, arrived at Van’s Tavern. From the top of the grass, it was easy to see where the strong wind was, some 300 ft away from the shore. Athen’s Park creates a bit of wind shaddow that extends in front of Van’s Tavern. Our 2 options were to keep going to Athen’s Park, OR, to rig up the kites in Van’s, launch and go downwind for 300 feet or so, and then BOOM, catch the strong wind in the middle of the lake. So off I went in Van’s saving some good 20 min. The plan worked as a charm. In no time I hit the strong channel of wind I was looking for. It felt like the ventilator has been suddently turn on. What a rush….

I sailed for 1hr 30 min straight. I went 3 times back and forth, from Van’s Tavern (West bank of Lanier) to Old Federal Camp Grounds (East banks of Lanier). Whithout realizing it, I had already sailed upwind from Athen’s park. What a feeling of happiness. One word about Athen’s… Call me crazy if you want.If it felt like it was blowing 20 mph in the middle of the lake, when getting closer to the launching tip in Athen’s park, makes you believe that it is blowing 20 mph + additonal 10 mph more than at the middle of the lake. Not sure what the phenomeon is due to, maybe the vegetation and the shape of Athens shore + trees makes a funnel effect, a ventury effect, call it how you want it, get close to Athen’s and it NUKES.

Kept sailing up wind, and suddently found sailboats traffic, traveling back and forth in my same direction. It was easy to weave in and out of the boat traffic. They seem to go so slow…. It was nice to hear them yelling in emotion when I did couple jumps between the boats. Did not know for sure, if they were cheering, or yelling at me with “get out of here”…., so I decided to keep going up wind. Not a problem. In a heartbeat I was sailing far away upwind from the regata boats.

1 hr 20 min into my session, I felt I wanted to take a brake. One problem, I have sailed so much upwind, I am far, far away from Van’s Tavern. Well, I did a long downwinder going literally in the wind direction for what it felt an eternity to Van’s Tavern.

All and all, we all (Mel, Fridge, and myself) had super fun, powered, long sessions going all over the place. I invite you all to give kiting a chance. The new gear makes it possible with an extraordinary new level of security and enjoyment.

How could we have had so much struggle in the previous years to sail in Lanier?, and now it seems like something so simple. To me the answer is the evolution of the equipment we use today. Hey, this is not only me. All of the regular kiters in ATL that had faded out/ lost hope after years trying to kite in Lanier without success, have been coming and trying the new gear, which has sparkled the interest in kitting again in Lanier. Reasons are 2 fold: the increased level of security by being able to 100% depower the kite, and the ability to kite in gusty winds with one kite by having the ability to control the power output of the kite.

Hope to see the sport growing in the coming months and years.
Feel free to join us.

Emilio Cobo
http://www.Locuswind.com
phone: 404 509 4229

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Wind Table of Sat 4-29-2006

Data from Weather Underground

Time(EDT) Wind Speed Gust Speed

7:53 AM ENE 13.8 mph 23.0 mph
8:53 AM ENE 16.1 mph 25.3 mph
9:53 AM ENE 12.7 mph
10:53 AM ENE 19.6 mph 25.3 mph
11:53 AM East 15.0 mph 24.2 mph
12:53 PM East 16.1 mph 24.2 mph
1:53 PM East 12.7 mph

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