The forecast was looking good for another classic West Meadow day. It would be my fourth great West Meadow day of the year. Considering last year I only got to sail my favorite spot about 5 times total, I'm in heaven. Not only were they calling for good wind, but Chachi, Aka. Jon Sasson, was back from Cali for a few days. Even more than I was looking forward to a great sesh at the meadow, I was looking forward to sailing with a good friend I haven't seen in months. I was eager to see how much spending 6 months in the Gorge had improved Chachi's sailing. He's also the newest member of the Northsails / Mistral team so I couldn't wait to see one of my teammates ripping it up on his new gear of choice.
When I pulled into the parking lot, Chachi was standing there with a big smile. It was almost as big as mine because I was looking past him at the small wavelets breaking over the nearly exposed sand bars. I got out of my truck and figured 4.7 should do it. Since Chachi was also using my gear, we had to share. I would be taking the smaller sail with the big board and he'd take the bigger sail with the smaller board. So it was 4.7 and the Joker for me, and the 5.3 and the 85 ltr Style for him. As soon as we finished rigging we looked at each other feeling the same gust. We both thought the same thing, should have rigged something smaller. We went for it on the already rigged gear anyway. Chachi made it to the water before me and boy was that 5.3 twisted open. It was quite obvious that he was lit out of his mind. I followed on my 4.7 with bigger board. I could barely keep it in the water. We stayed on the gear for a few runs thinking it would probably back off the second we went to rig down. It didn't. So after a few runs more I gave him my 4.7 for the smaller board he was using. Then I went down to the 4.2 on my Joker.
We were both a bit overpowered, but much better than before. We were going loop for loop. I had some sick ponches and shakas. Chachi threw a pretty nice Kono and an almost burner. Later on I saw him make a couple of ponches also and some massive shuv-its. So did 6 months in the Gorge improve his sailing? Lets just say calling his sailing improved is an understatement. Not only has he learned so many new tricks, but he's also doing the old moves so much more stylish. At one point the ramps were big enough and steep enough to go for some backloop action. Neither of us made any, but if we knew what we were doing with those we definitely could have landed a few.
All in all it was everything we love about sailing West Meadow. Low tide for flat water freestyle, high tide for some wave action, and lots of friends to share the wind with. I can't wait for the next sesh at the meadow.