Brandvlei Dam – Super Overpowered

Yesterday (11 July 2015) myself, photographer Michel Dei-Cont and local sailor Monet Butler decided to head out to Brandvlei. The forecast was looking good, with no rain in Cape Town when we left, and little wind. However Brandvlei is affected by what I think is a venturi effect between the two mountains and in a NW or SE it thumps.

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While the folks in Cape Town received a 10 or 15 knot wind yesterday, we recorded an official 42 knots at a stage, which wasn’t the windiest time. Furthermore, the wind about 200 or 300 metres was a lot stronger than on the beach. I rigged a 3.7, weighing in that morning at 94,5kg and I was so overpowered on the outside I wiped out on more than half my gybes. In general, I was so overpowered I couldn’t really do anything. Sometimes a survival session is fun, but perhaps less so if you’re in winter time and starved of a good sessionSmile 

Nevertheless I had a reasonably good time with the wind dropping off a bit but not enough. Monet did not even sail. She only had a 3.4 and that wasn’t going to cut it. Next time we go earlier. The “secret” to Brandvlei for a NW or SE I am told yesterday by a very friendly kiter is take the Windguru reading, double it, and add 4 knots. See, we can all get along.

Note we sailed from the Tierkloof 4×4 side. Another kiter had organised the key and paid him and wrote our names down for indemnity. You can also sail from the yacht club, not ideal for kiting, but windsurfing it’s great. The politics surrounding the dam are a bit unstable currently with an unfortunate kiter having an incident at the dam which caused a stir. Luckily he is ok I believe. I finally got the story from an older kiter yesterday, as the windsurfers originally said a kiter was naked on the dam and everyone got banned. Not true. The story goes that this person could not depower the kite. He was taken from the Tierkloof side and dragged all the way to the yacht club. Either his wetsuit was ripped off or he tried to get out of it, either way he was found naked on the other side face down in the cold water and blue. CPR was done and he spent 3 days in hospital. If you kite, be safe. If you windsurf, be safe. Know your limits and that of your equipment, and don’t underestimate cold water. That’s my preach for the day.

Photos by Michel Dei-Cont. He has a Facebook page HERE which is rather inactive. But if you’re looking for graphic design or a top quality photographer this is your man. Conditions were stupid for taking photos. Sand everywhere. Very good job Mike, shot! We all had a super day. Photos below.

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Cell phone photo of mine.

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An unknown kiter going huge, as they do.

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Cell phone photo of mine.

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Cell phone photo of mine.

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I was getting blasted by the pebbles, never mind the sand.

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Me giving the thumbs down. Funny how it doesn’t look that windy.

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Cell phone pic.

Sail safe, and have an excellent day, as always,

Adrian

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