“El No-Viento” Arrives in Baja, February 10, 2010
It’s a good day to catch up on indoor chores with rare clouds and rain here in La Ventana. The good winds we had seen for several weeks came to an end the last week of January. The predicted strong El Nino has interrupted the typical winter wind pattern for all of Baja. California is welcoming the rains that have ended their drought, but the low pressure systems passing through southern California are cutting off the northerly flow of winds down the Sea of Cortez. We’re still getting a couple days every week of lighter thermal winds in the late afternoon. Sailors have been cruising on 100+ liter boards with a 6.0 to 7.0.
Ok…at least they make a pretty picture?
The annual Kitefest that was held the last week of January was saved by wind on the final two days of the week long event. Events were held for kiters, windsurfers, and standup paddle boarders. The 12 mile cross channel race, course racing, and freestyle events were all squeezed into a wild and mostly windy Saturday and Sunday. Beach parties, demos, and food booths filled the beach at the lower end of La Ventana Bay. Kiters got their revenge this year in the cross channel race over the windsurfers who have taken line honors in past years. The race was started with 20-25 mph winds on both shores, but what the race committee didn’t know was that there was a 2-3 mile hole in the middle of the channel with nearly no wind. The windsurfers were forced to slog and pump, and were unable to stay with the front runners in the kite division, finishing nearly 4 minutes behind the winner.
The big winners of the event were the local villages of La Ventana and El Sargento. More than $22,000 was raised for the local schools and improvement projects. This event highlights the cooperation and integration of wind enthusiasts from north of the boarder and the local people. Thanks to Tim at Palapas Ventana for helping make it possible. Here is a link to the results: http://www.palapasventana.com/lvclassic.aspx
Mike and Nancy from Hood River score the best wind of the season.
I had the pleasure of sailing with a couple from Hood River in January. While friends Dan and Val were in California getting treatment for Dan’s ankle injury, Mike and Nancy came down to watch after their place on the beach. Of course watching also included sailing…a very sweet arrangement since gear was included, what great friends! This was their first opportunity to sail on Ezzy sails, so I was anxious to get their impression after two weeks on the water. Mike’s impression, “they definitely have more power for their size than the (other brand)…I think the 5.8 Panther is more powerful than their 6.2. I really like the outhaul rigging strings and marks for setting the downhaul. I never had to wonder if the sail was set right…what a great idea.” Nancy thought the Panthers were very easy to sail, “very balanced and smooth…I love them.” I want to thank Mike and Nancy for sharing some great time on the water and on the beach discussing how to solve the world’s problems, hope to see you in the Gorge this summer.
Looks like today’s rain will be replaced by a high pressure system over the SW for a few days and the winds will return, life is good! See you on the water, Gary & Nancy