Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Urban Epic III

There were Six of us up for the latest Urban Epic Club trip. We again had a grey day only this time with the added bonus of strong Southerlies and a livley sea. Both me and Garry were in unfamiliar boats and as both of us have come from the rock steady reliability of Mirages we found staying on course a bit of a handfull (and upright in some instances - Garry got to do a couple of rolls in anger). George's shark sighting and resultant yells helped I'm sure. I'm hoping that improved skill and getting used to our boats will overcome these issues for us. While some skeg paddlers seem to accept that zigzagging is part and parcel of paddling downwind I find this frustrating. Going in a straight line and catching waves at sea is now my prime focus. The Stern rudder helps maintain course for sure but I don't like this stroke as it has a breaking effect (when compared to forward paddling) which can result in missed rides (tragic). I accept that its essential for surfing breakers on a bar or beach or when sailing (15 KT +). I will now focus on more aggressive edging to maintain direction without compromising the all important forward stroke. Next test this arvo in Easterlies which will produce rebound waves off the cliffs. I've installed an inflatable beanbag type seat which will raise my seating position and might help with edging.


Thanks to Andrew E, Andrew C, George, Neil and Garry for making it such a fun day! Photos by Garry Thompson.


Anonymous said...

So Matt, you're saying that your 550 is more difficult in the chasing seas than your Mirage? That seems to be your polite observation. It looks fast - were you still able to go as quick? Still interested but I'm wavering, not such glowing reviews as i thought….!

Matt said...

Its simply too early to say "the H550 is not as fast as my M530".

I admit I having skill deficiency paddling downwind and keeping it straight. There were three M580's in our group. Two were faster than me downwind (one paddled by Andrew Eddy with a sail the other paddled by Andrew Charlton who is an experienced and powerful paddler).
Into the strong winds on the way back I was able to keep up with Andrew Charlton and George Jessup in his Point 65 who is also quite fast. On this trip I carried two 13 litre dry bags filled with sand and it made the boat feel faster!
When I paddled the M530 fully loaded it was unresponsive and slow. Perhaps not the case with an M580 but I have no experience with the 580.

There is a lot more to consider than speed but admittedly it is a major concern for me as well. Thing is I'm getting faster every time I go out, and its a hell of a lot of fun breaking in the new beast!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for feedback Matt. Your on a interesting journey, for sure.