Laura and Alex’s excellent adventure!
Laura had reached out asking if we could arrange a lesson.... we settled on Saturday the 19th and thankfully it was a sunny day with a steadily increasing SW wind.
By 11am I had the flags up at the point. I was able to find an extra skeg as I'd forgotten to bring it up from Collingwood with the Viper HD. Laura and Alex arrived and we did our safety meeting and found a wetsuit for Alex. Laura was already in her wetsuit and eager to get to the point for the simulator lesson. Laura also had a helmet and monogrammed lifejacket from her experience kayaking for Canoe Kayak Canada.
I started with Alex on the simulator and he was a very quick learner and focused intently on the steps to get on the board, uphaul, bring the sail to neutral, then extend his front arm and pull on the boom with two fingers. I didn't even show him how to tack, I just described it and he did it. Alex was just as good going the other direction as he is a snowboarder without a goofy/regular preference. (Snowboarders learn windsurfing well!)
Next Laura was on the simulator with the 2.5 Fanatic Ripper rig. She was also intent on getting her skills honed on land and gave some nice smiles while I got some photos.
I put Alex on the Viper HD and he took off to cheers after uphauling and getting underway. After he cleared the old wharf I got Laura out on the smaller Viper 80. She got going as well but it was more difficult with the smaller board and with the wind increasing and the waves getting larger.
I jumped on the Seadoo and followed Laura. She was doing fine and Alex had gotten all the way over to Diamond Key. I raced over to him and helped pull him away from shore. He tacked and sailed away.
I towed Laura upwind and away from the waves. She was really getting the hang of it now. So back to seeing what Alex was doing. I had told him to focus on the cottage across the way with the red roof. He took me quite literally, and had sailed straight over a kilometre. I've never had a beginner do that in a SW wind! (Maybe Maxx several years ago..) I put on my GPS watch to record the distance!
Here are two videos I got of their excellent skills!
After getting Alex turned around I was back with Laura and she was getting some really good speed going. Eventually she sailed in and stepped off the board. Alex did fall in just once - pretty amazing for a first time windsurfer in that much wind, maybe it was his super wide stance that helped? As the session was ending I showed Alex how to jibe and he came downwind nicely right back to the point.
Later that afternoon with Key Harbour as the windiest place showing on iWindsurf.com, I got a nice little foil session for myself - details on my personal blog.