Living on the Martha's Vineyard we tend to get the best aspects of Nor'Easter's....The Wind. Yesterday was no exception. I woke up to winds from 39 Degree True Wind Direction blowing at roughly 31-44 mph. Ok I thought not bad for 0630 and "Athena" is still centered off of Norfolk, Va. By the time I took my son to school and loaded the truck it was blowing 31-51 mph. Wow! Ok now we are talking, especially since the anemometer I was using is at the boat ramp in Vineyard Haven and is somewhat sheltered in a NE Wind.
I met Rob, Jamie and Morgan Douglas down at State Beach and looking across the road at Sengekontacket Pond it looked pretty windy, then it started raining. There is something about adding rain to wind that makes the wind seem that much stronger. Maybe it is the stinging of the drops on your face. Then Athena decided rain wasn't enough so it started to mix in some sort of snow/sleet/hail mixture. As I said to Rob "It's nasty enough I think I need to wear my Zeal Goggles and Atlantis Smock in the truck."
But of course as soon as the precipitation started we figured it must be time to rig. I was already suited up with my 6mm Wetsuit and booties and then my smock on over so I was actually quite warm while rigging. The other boys had to do the "dance" on the side of the road. I always love it because it is inevitable that as soon as someone drops their pants a car rolls by and honks.
I rigged my 6 Meter TS Kite from BEST. This was the first time I had flown it so I was really excited to get out and give it a go. I combined it with my Gorilla Racing Bar and Gorilla Lines. I decided to go with my longer 30 Meter Gorilla Lines. The other guys went with shorter 22 Meter stock Cabrinha Lines. It was interesting to see the way that this affected the flying characteristics of the kite. My kite seemed less volatile in the gusts and even though the Gorilla lines have significantly less stretch than any production stock lines the kite seemed happier and less "jerky" in the air. Was this a testament to Gorilla Lines or to the stable nature of the TS Kite? Not sure I know the answer yet but either way I was really happy.
Now just before I launched my kite I checked the wind speed in Vineyard Haven. It now read 31-51 MPH. 51 MPH is the most wind I have ever rigged in and I was really excited. In no way do I condone the average kiter rigging or riding in this much wind. It is a lot to handle and the margin for error is very little.