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OK, I've seen a lot of talk on here about what newbies should do on downwinders at SI, but what about doing downwinders on purpose? Most involve takeout at Little Baja.
I ride the coast most of the time, but I occassionally get talked into heading inland. Downwinders on the coast are a blast, and I've been other places where it's common practice to head on downwind runs, blasting tricks and carves without working hard to get back to the launch.
I've done the upwind runs and back into the lake, but what's downwind of the Kite Beach launch at SI? Looks like there are places to water land & climb up the levee as far as Powerlines. Any reason to go farther than that? It looks like it may be possible to go for a long ways up the river, with pretty good road access for a pickup and ride back to the launch. Any especially nasty hazards to watch for?
Well, you would want to watch out for the Rio Vista bridge!
Otherwise the most dangerous hazards are boating traffic (both shipping traffic and drunk fishermen/waterskiiers).
Bruce Sheldon (Sheldon sails) does downwinders to Windy Cove on a regular basis. It's the "beach" by the first drawbridge on 160 as you are heading to Rio Vista. It's a long run, not sure how many miles. I've never done it, but I've helped land them when they arrived.
There are two main issues to deal with: Decker island, just east of Sherman, which has no roads, and thus is a really long hike, followed by a decent swim to get back to 160 if you have to ditch for any reason. When I've seen people do it, they do all their boosting, etc., before they reach the island, then boogy past it to the open area in front of WIndy cove to play some more.
The other issue is the "beach" at Windy Cove, which is buried under lots of drfitwood which floats at high tide. It's a tricky walk on the logs, but then you go up concrete steps to a large open field with lots of room to land the kite. If it's nuking, it's good to have someone to meet you there to help the first person out of the water land.
You can drop a car at the Windy Cove parking lot, and then it's like a 10 minute drive back to SI. Obviously not something to try alone.
The downwind run to Windy Cove is a classic. During a flood tide, current moving in, there is a standing tidal 'wave' at a secret location.....it will be disclosed only in exchange for cold beers, fine wine and/or top shelf guave juice
It helps when the wind is a steady thermal wind with a good push all the way to RIO. Call the campground across the street from windy cove to find out if it's windy before you go: if it is, game on.
One last word of advice, wear just a bit more rubber then normal, as you may be swimming longer then planned.
Good winds + waves, Zeev.
Or you could just search the forum as I think he's disclosed it before.
Sorry Zeev! Looks like I may be the one to owe you some beers.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
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