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Hatch analysis

 
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kinsie



Joined: 07 May 2001
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Hatch analysis Reply with quote

My family and I have been to going to the event site for years for its easy rigging and family oriented offering. For me, I was always able to get some bump and jump on the far side of the river up towards the bridge. This year because of the dam breach the dynamic of the river has completely changed.
This year the wind has been especially cruel with it wide wind range and up and down nature and no real ramps to speak of. I have started to launch at the hatch where it appeared that the wind range has been always tighter. Being unfamiliar with this site, has this section of the river been affected by the dam breach? I have noticed more pressure on the fin and more of tendency to lose the fin. The current seems stronger. Is this the norm?
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The current has been stronger this year, but since we're moving with the current its only effect is to add to the effective wind, just as it always has.
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scottwerden



Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 216

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What dam breach are you referring to?

As to your question - my observation is that the Hatch-Cheap-Swell area has been sloppy/choppy a lot this year. Current? Water level? Gusts? Global warming? Republicans? Who knows; something is screwing it up.
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Conduit Dam breach put huge quanties of river sand into the Columbia River right at the White Salmon railroad bridge. There is now a sand bar in front of the bridge that reaches into the river for around 75 yards, and down river for another 75-100 yards. Previously, the Columbia river channel was located right in front of the bridge, on the Washington side, producing wonderfully large smooth swell as wind was channeled straight from the hatchery to the RR bridge. Now with the White Salmon Sand Bar right at this point, the current of the river has been diverted and now makes a turn toward Oregon just east of the bridge, and the result has been to change the swell patterns above and below the sand bar into a jumbled mess as the current changes directions several times to flow around the sand bar. In addition to the sand bar in front of the bridge, the White Salmon River now dumps into the center of the Columbia in multiple places, where this happens depends on the Columbia River pool level, which changes day to day at the whim of the Core of Engineers.

So you are completely correct, the river dynamic has changed at the RR bridge, and for 100 yards to the East, and probably 1/2 mile to the west, the swell and river current have completely changed, and not for the better.

I'm not sure what the effect has been at the hatchery, there seems to be a lot more sand to the west of wells island, but Swell City has seen no effects from the dam breach.

KMF
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scottwerden wrote:
Who knows; something is screwing it up.

Godsey explained the wind's contribution in another thread a few days ago. Poor wind quality makes a huge difference in the water's surface anywhere, current or no current.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2413

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gustier winds and fewer poly glass boards, boards that are now wider and lighter in weight, older sailors, sailors getting older.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that "glass" boards ride better, and used to dislike most "epoxy" boards -- particularly with carbon -- when powered way up on Gorge terrain for three reasons:
1. Their rougher ride ("crisper", my butt; many of the damned things would beat you to a pulp years ago).
2. Their related historical tendency to bounce into the air off every piece of chop ... not fast, not controlled, not much fun for riders who wanted to pick and choose their jumps.
3. Their aerodynamic semblance to potato chips in strong, gusty winds.

Better shapes, greater rider skill, and cushy pads have significantly reduced those drawbacks more recently. The first carbon board I liked in really strong Gorge winds had twice the intended vee (software error), and rode like a "glass" board. Since then I've pretty much confined my Gorge boards to epoxy wave boards <55 cm in width @ 80L (common before 2008). The wider stuff's fine for normal power and lesser chop, but crank up either and I far prefer the former's ride and slashing capability on typical Gorge chop WFO with too much sail. A well-shaped slightly narrower wave board, even a 13 pound epoxy/carbon board, can ride and handle like much like a glass board ... a feel I've not found on rough water at 58+ cm.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2413

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you have the experience to pick out your high wind boards for your conditions and preferences, most sailors pick the earliest planing high wind board for their needs. Early planing usually means more bounce and skitter when overpowered.
And tons of high wind sailors believe the hype of 58cm +, even if they weigh a buck and a half. Hype is that shorter can be ridden wider. We know there is a limit.
But it does come down to rider preference. My 49cm wide high wind boards like to go fast, hate the slash and rip idea, while one of my 56's like only to go slow and sail in curves.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One would think that early planing would be one of the last things a buyer would consider in a high-wind board; it always has been for me even at two bucks, before I could jibe dry, and while I still lived in New Mexico. As for experience ... my preference for and purchase of small boards followed, rather than preceded, expertise and extended time on them. One day and I was hooked; the dang things may as well have been crack. While they certainly don't inherently promote early planing, they better accommodate the excess power that gets us planing in the lulls, so overall they still plane just fine on most windy days. When they don't, well, grab a bigger stick.

As for experience in choosing them, I got that by ... ta da ... buying them. That's tough in many parts of the country, but not around here where not only are they low-hanging fruit (dirt-frigging cheap) but can sometimes be picked up off the ground (as in free). I bought my first 2001 wave board in about 2008, and kicked myself in the butt for waiting so long. A bud was given a marvelous little wave board this summer that made me envious: not only is it a fantastic board from 4.7 down to 3.0, but I had to pay a whopping $100 for mine ... with bag and fin. The grins it gives me TOTALLY outshine the grins I get from anything bigger.

It all makes me wonder whether, like thrusters and slotted fins in many cases, Stubbies (short/wide boards) are a bad habit to form for powered-up B&J sailing. Are they a dependency interfering with the progression of proper sailing technique as we move from intermediate to advanced to expert? Are they a bandaid or crutch when applied to scenarios they were never intended for (most things are, including little boards in marginal holey winds)? Are they out of their comfort zone when force-fed into big-gusts/big-chop B&J sailing (Boards Magazine sure thinks so, and every word of their analysis rang true with me)? They have their strong points, but getting hammered through belly-high harsh chop in huge gusts ain't even close to being one of them.

Buy the right tool for the job, even if it means needing a bigger tool box.
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