Twice a year we try to get away to a windy location with a bunch of folks that are focussed on kiting. Its provided a stack of highlights - some terrifying, all exhilirating. This shot is from Sandy point with the Prom in the backgrond.
2009 Mar ? - Sandy Point - Stu W, Stu S, Grant
2011 Nov - Sandy Point - Stu W, Stu S, Pete, Grant
2012 Mar - Inverloch - Stu W, Stu S, Grant, Hutch, Pete, Taz, Franz, Rod, Wayne
2012 Nov - Inverloch - Stu W, Stu S, Grant, Pete, Taz, James, Franz
2013 Mar - Sandy Point - Stu W, Taz, Pete, James
2014 Mar - Melbourne - Stu W, James
2014 Nov - Paynesville - Stu W, Stu S, Grant, James, Taz, Amelia, Pete
2015 Mar - Inverloch - Stu W, Stu S, Anthony, Mike, Eric, Amelia, Pete
2015 Nov - Sandy Point - Stu W, Stu S, James, Taz
2016 Mar - Robe - Stu W, Stu S, Taz, Pete
2016 Nov - Tassie - Stu W, Stu S, Taz, Pete, James
2017 Nov - Tassie - Stu W, Stu S, James, Taz, Pete, Mike, Dan, Anthony
2018 Mar - Tarthra, Sandy Pt - Stu W, Stu S, Taz, Pete, Dobbo, James
The first time we expanded the reach of the kiting weekend - besides having fantastic wind for the weekend we also had some new folks to share it with. A great trip - with heaps of gear.
In 2014 we (Stu Styles, Grant, James, Tarren, Amelia, Pete) headed down to Paynesville. On arrival we were greeted with howling winds at Newlands arm. Amelia grabbed a couple of fantastic shots from the beach, including this one where my board just happened to line up with James' kite.
It was well over 35 knots so the smallest transition seemed to get air.
This shot sums up how I feel at the end of a session during a kiting weekend. Typically time is essential - I have to get home asap to make sure that Tina and the kids are ok. On a kiting weekend, we kite until exhaustion. Here I've obviously hit the end - and got dragged up the sand onto the beach - much to the enjoyment of James and Stu S.
2015's trip was to Sandy point - consistent winds and great surf made for an awesome combination. I'm on a surfboard here on a nice little wave.
The end of one of the greatest sessions to date - the downwinder from the surf beach at Sandy point into the inlet. Consistent wind, big surf and flat water made the 42 km trip an absolute blast.
Pete and I often go down to Inverloch. Sometimes the weather has been a bit dodgy and we've tried to grab the wind in front of a frontal system. This particular time we pushed it to the limit - not long after we landed the hailstones hit.
Inverloch is a popular destination for our kiting weekends. The inlet and surf beach are a killer combination. Surf was up on this particular day.
The flat water of the inlet provide a great backdrop. I love the way that you can see the ripples in the sand bars, and you can't see the takeoff for the jump - meaning its probably a big one.
The great mystery - what is that shape ? I only spotted this once I got home from the session and went through the photos. Some have suggested a helicopter - but I checked with a heli pilot who assured me it was not.
The morning northerly is a treat - Pete's grabbed this shot - looks like an ad for my board. Glad I shined up my butt for the occasion.
Even the beach is smiling when Rosebud is working.
Gotta love a downwinder - going from one spot to another on the kite. Two in particular stand out - one where we were Pete and I were kiting at Hampton, and just collectively decided to head across the bay. Halfway across we realise someone is on our tail - Taz caught up. We got to the other side - it was a little stinky - so we turned around and went back.
The other epic was a downwinder from Werribee to Altona. We got to Altona and thought - let's try and go back. A couple of hours, 106km and many blisters later we arrived back at Werribee.
Pete, Stu, Eric, Dan, Mike and I joined forces over at Point Impossible for a magnificent session in the waves. The reef break made for great flat water, and the waves were joyous. It was us and a few sailboarders.
Sometimes you just get smacked. On this day, the wind went from a great 28 knots with magnificent waves, to a ballistic 55 knots, blowing the bejeesus out of us. Luckily Pete and I made it back in after having to hit the safety.
It's just one of the most amazing kiting spots on the planet. You have the whole island to choose from, heaps of wind, empty, beautiful beaches and amazing water. Add cheap accommodation, great food and its easy to see why we keep going back.
The beach is just spectacular. We hit it with a great swell and consistent wind - it was like a wave pool of consistent big waves that you could drop on to. Wish it was around the corner.