Weather keeps the Red Kite on shore!

Posted on May 18, 2015 7:03 am


Weather keeps the Red Kite on shore!

The history of the red kite in Teesdale has two story lines. The first is a depressing tale of persecution and, hopefully temporary, extinction. The other is an exciting opportunity for learner sailors to experience the awesome power of even a mild breeze applied to 14 square meters of sailcloth.

The club’s new Bahia training boat carries up to five passengers using 28 sq meters of cloth, including 14 of bright red spinnaker, or kite.

A 747 airliner uses about 1.4sq meters of wing area per passenger to whisk you up to 40,000 feet. You hopefully don’t need a calculator to anticipate the effect of a brisk wind on this boat – awesome! Obviously, someone needs to pilot both craft, but whereas the Boeing is going to take hundreds of hours and many thousands of pounds to get to the captain’s seat, the Bahia can be helmed with a couple of hours instruction and five pounds a week.

The consequences of getting it wrong are admittedly rather different, but this is another of those totally inappropriate comparisons that wing through your head when messing about around boats.

Sunday’s gale force winds attracted four die-hards onto the water, only one of which stayed above the waves all day. Impressive Dave. Two races were completed under Joyce’s directorship and from my viewpoint, anyone managing the circuit should have been on a podium. I would have joined them in a dinghy but my knee operation gave me an opt-out onto the safety boat. Honest.

The weatherman promises that the jet stream is soon going to shift north bringing better weather to us. I hope the jet wash that seems to have plagued this seasons sailing at Grassholme will go with it, and let us see a lot more of the red kites.

Chris Dauber