Friday, June 10, 2011

Carl gets a Vulcan

Some kook, Francisco Goya, and Carl

If you haven't been following it, you probably should be.

Carl Spiess, an extremely friendly Canadian who I met through Windsurfing Magazine's board test started a blog to document a year that he's been living in France on a work/live vacation of sorts. He's written about all the windsurfing launches he sailed, the people he's met and his other experiences living in France. His most recent posts have been fantastic stories of making his first Vulcan and sailing Defi Wind, a race of 1000 windsurfers.

I congratulate him for his vulcan accomplishment. I think it is one of the most difficult things to learn in windsurfing, and he did it in an ASTOUNDING 155 attempts. It took me more than twice as many and it takes many people 10 times as many to get that bugger-of-a-maneuver. He said he studied the move quite a bit, which I believe. A lot of people can think really hard and visualize a move then accomplish it, particularly if they have a background in some sort of athletics (I believe Carl played volleyball at a high collegiate level, so I think of him as a superior athlete).

I don't consider myself an athletic person per se, at least not gifted in a coordination way, so everything I've learned has been from repetition and frequent practice. Now I can make most vulcans I attempt and I'm still only making one or a few spocks per session, but it took me over a year to get here. If I was limited to sailing less, I definitely wouldn't be close to any of these achievements. Hats off to Carl and all others who sail locations that aren't frequently windy!

My advice to Carl is to keep on practicing them until perfect, and even start planning for the spock sooner rather than later (meaning try them further off the wind with more speed and on flatter water than your initial attempts). It took me 17 days after my first 4 vulcans to make another, so don't be discouraged. I'm saying that, but thinking you're the type of guy who might get a couple the next session out. Don't put too much pressure on yourself though. Freestyle moves are not a destination! Pat yourself on the back now then try to figure out how to make them consistently -- that's the real test!


CdnGuy said...

Thanks for the very kind words. Only correction; I wasn't any kind of high school athlete. In fact, I'd failed at so many other sports that my parents were pleased when I spent a whole weekend teaching myself to windsurf on a borrowed board. They were so excited in fact, the next weekend they bought me a shiny new YPSI Wayler - for $1,500 I think I recall. That was a lot of money in 1980, but a good investment in hindsight; I still use that board at the cottage.

Waterturtle said...

Way to go Carl....Congrats! Carl and I met at HIHO in '07. That guy is everywhere!

Brian S said...

Congrats to Carl! He's a very good windsurfer. Also met Carl on the HIHO in 2009.

CdnGuy said...

Brian and Waterturtle, thanks for the kudos. HiHo 2012 is penciled in on our calendar. Re-union?