|Written by Prez|
The main reason for flying over east at xmas was to see my favourite brother’s first baby. And any opportunity to sail at “the pit”, would be jumped upon. The forecast had looked good all week for the day we arrived so the plan was to borrow a car upon arrival and head straight there.
We took the midnight red eye special, and not one second of sleep was had, arriving in Melb 4.50am. Arrived at parents place 7.30am feeling totally shattered and thought unless I get some sleep I’m gonna give it a miss. Got about an hours sleep and was woken by a telephone call from the Pit Crew captain Craig Hollins, saying it’s on at The Pit. The call was like an injection of adrenalin. 2 and half hours driving found us arriving at The Pit with a solid 18 to 25 knots, blue skies, crystal clear water, and Wilsons Promomtory lighting up the panoramic backdrop.
Craig Hollins rigged up a Ka Koncept 5.8 and a 120 litre board, The tide was a bit high so there was chop, and I was blown off the water. Andrew Daff gave me a loan of an old speed needle, which was a bugger to get going, but it tracked perfectly and handled the chop with aplomb, never did one run below 35 knots with a peak of 36.7 knots. The bugger is you go so downwind that you need to walk your board hundreds of metres to be able to get back. I made the mistake of only walking back only a hundred metres and sailed back, getting stuck on the opposite bank, and having to swim against an outgoing tide and a 20 to 25 knot wind. Took me about 30 mins to make it back and I felt finished for the day, feeling very disappointed.
I sat back and watched for the next 2 hours contemplating the universe and the missed opportunity, when Andrew Daff came to my rescue, he said “Hey Hardie, try this (new isonic 86, new Koncept 5.8 and TM48 fin), I just done 38.8 knots, see if you can beat that”. The tide having dropped, and the wind filling in, the next 2 hours were probably one of my top 5 sails in 23 years of windsurfing. The water was dead flat, and it gave very little feedback on how fast you were going, it was the push on the rig that you had to focus on, and just setting the trim of the board to it’s fastest. Only as you reached the end of the run did any chop begin to appear, which was about 10 to 20 cm. which is a doddle in WA terms. Never did below 35.6 knots with a peak of 38.2 knots. As I got more confident I kept getting closer to the bank, and it was like being on an ice-skating rink. The sensation is surreal for someone that has not experienced this before. It was a magic day, I buzzed for 4 days afterwards, just dreaming and scheming of how I could spend more days experiencing that feeling again, it may never happen again, so I will treasure it forever!!!!!!