Had another fairly high wind session on the 9.5m Prodigy today. Wind was 24 gusting to 38, I set the back lines slack on my added pigtail extensions as I have before because the forecast was to be gusting mid 40 knots. My best local spot for speed riding came up further onto the marsh than normal and left me a decent area of flattish water running into chop after about 250m so pretty perfect. I videod the session puposely to see what the kite was doing in the gusts and to tell the truth as you will see on the video the kits sits like it was painted in the sky, this is why I like it so much because every time I changed direction when the kite was at 12 I started to get the occasional lofting and normally with every kite I have ever tried when you get that the ride on the water is similar to a bucking bronco but not with the Prodigy, just have a look at how stable the kite is. I do have a 7m Rise on the way to test for speed but I will be very suprised to find anothe kite as gust friendly, the Rise may of course be faster but in big UK gusty wind we need some forgiveness. Hope to be reviewing the Rise within the next week.
What got me was how little bar movement was needed as the apparent wind came on. I take it you you where bearing away as the wind felt more and accelerated to equilibrium. or ran out of pond. Still pushing about twice wind speed is none to shabby . Pity it does not hold true in higher winds. Come spring I will have to come your way.
If the wind direction allows and is not too square for the location then as you thought you bear away as you start to reach mid speed then the apparent wind kicks in and the wind window becomes dynamic therefore the kite sits further back in the window and you bear away even further so the bar does not need to move much if the kite can handle the gusts well. The problem with a good speed run is it is a mission to get back up-wind to the starting point after running down-wind so far this means within an hour you can rack up 20 to 30 miles on the GPS. I find I can get the best board to wind speed ration in sub 25 knot winds, after this I feel kite drag kicks in, I find I can dump some drag by sheeting out to speed up the air flow over the kite but do it too much and the power drops. I already have a plan for 2013 that includes detailed logs of every session, I think the boards are as good as they can be until I start getting mid 40 knots on the 500m runs so I intend to spend more time on getting kite type and size right for each wind range to give maximum efficiency with least drag. If I get this right in the first 4 months of the year I can seriously chase the British record and in the process qualify for the world championships again. Could do with a team effort really, this is how Rob Douglas stays on top, board builder, coach, nutritionist and millionaire sponsor. Below is a GPS track image and details, this was a WSW wind direction with Port tack speed runs so that will give you an idea of the angles involved, if you imagine that curve when watching the speed video you will totally get whats going on. I plan to do Weymouth speed week in 2013 so maybe we could hook up for the week and give it a team effort on behalf of OR.