Monday, December 21, 2009


Monday, November 30, 2009

November waves

November has been pumping. Waves and wind almost every day it seems. I added a couple of pics, more to come.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I have just got back from Weymouth International Speed Week, the oldest speed contest there is and the place where Fred Hayward first took a windsurf board over 30 knots. It's incredible to think we are now waiting for the 50 knot barrier to be broken by a windsurfer.

I jumped on the overnight ferry from Guernsey to Portsmouth on Friday arriving 6.30 Saturday morning and drove down to Weymouth. The forecast for the week is one of the worst I have ever seen. We may have some wind on the Sunday however the rest of the week shows no wind at all.

I arrived in Weymouth at 9.30 and made my way to Portland harbour where the speed strip is. Portland Harbour is the main sailing area for the 2012 Olympics and you can certainly see where all the Lottery funding is going. It is a fantastic set up for every type of sailor. The speed camp was in front of the main sailing academy in the car park / boat enclosure. We rigged on the brick car park and could launch down a carpeted slipway. No sand between the toes at this event and hot showers and restaurant when you come out of the water.

Sunday morning and we have approx 15knots on the course gusting a little more. Most sailors are sailing with sails in the range of 7.6 - 8.4. I rigged my biggest sail a 8m and borrowed an Isonic 122 with a standard Drake fin form the Starboard importer. I have never sailed the board before and it was strange to be on such a big board.

In the professional fleet we had Anders Brignal (already 2010 world champion) using a 8.4 then a 7.8 sail on a Mistral 110ltr board, Dan Ellis (back from a year of training in Maui) on a 7.6 Maui Sails and a Mistral 110, Patrick Van Hoof (world speed tour veteran) was on a Gaastra 7.6, Ant Baker (former world cup sailor and now coach) on a North 8m and Fanatic board and Dave White (former world champion and world record holder) using a 8m Neil Pryde sail. The new Hot GPS was a dream. All these guys are a lighter than me and got going on smaller boards. The Isonic I borrowed I had never sailed on before the heat and to push it as fast as the smaller boards was great. The sail gets on the plain early and when on it just goes. The course was tight and with so little wind I am gobsmacked how competitive I was.

I finished the day in 4th place just behind the world champion Anders Brignal 3rd, Dan Ellis 2nd and Patrick Van Hoof 1st. Ant Baker was fifth and Dave White in sixth.

The pro fleet was timed on GPS GT31 devices and gave a very accurate measurement of speed.

No fast world breaking speeds but a good contest all the same. There is no point being fast in just one specific condition, you have to be fast in all conditions.

Photos to follow.



Friday, September 18, 2009


We have had three days of North East winds, rolling a swell down the English Channel and into Pembroke Bay.

Cross on shore, starboard tack jumping, force six winds.

I have had three days of fantastic wavesailing. The HotSails Smack wavesails are so light and powerful and my new Evo 100 is just the boat needed for a 110kg bloke in onshore winds.

I have just the right amount of aches to remind me how good it was. It is a long time since I have thrown myself over the handle bars into a forward on Starboard tack but the new kit certainly made it easier taken I was anticipating.

Our prevailing wind direction is South West with the best conditions at Perelle or Vazon Bay on Port Tack.

Weymouth speed week is just around the corner now and I can't wait. I have the new race sails coming over for the event and it will be great to put them through their paces.

I get some photos published of the new sails as soon as I have them.



Monday, August 17, 2009


I am up to 26th in the world rankings. 80 000 points behind 15th however there are a lot of point to be won before the years out and a lot of sailors above me will be loosing big points from 2008 results. Top ten isn't out of the question, top 15 would still be a great come back.

I'll keep you informed.



Saturday, August 8, 2009

KARPATHOS Speed world cup

Day 1 July 29th

My kit had been freighted to Gatwick the week earlier so all I had was hand luggage for the short flight from Guernsey to London Gatwick.

I met up with my good friend Pierre Bisson at Guernsey airport to check in at 7.30am. Pierre is a professional photographer who I have known for well over 20 years, he was coming to cover the event and maybe have the odd lager shandy. We travelled together during the 90's on the speed tour and were curious to see if it would be the same almost 20 years later.

8.30 Touch down in Gatwick and a short walk to departures to meet up with one of my sponsors the Beachcomber Hot Tub importers SCP who had taken delivery of my gear the week before. On schedule they were there and we had the gear, now off to Easy Jet to check in for our flight to Rhodes.

We can't check in until 11.55 however on seeing the length of queue's we decide to upgrade to the easy boarding option that Easy Jet have introduced. I would highly recommend it. £ 7.50 each way and you can miss all the queue's and you board the plane before anybody allowing you to grab the seats with extra leg room, being 6'7" tall it is a must for me.

We check in at 11.55 on the dot, I am a bit of a pessimist when it comes to checking in 3 boards, sail bag, mast bag and boom bag. Everything is going smoothly however the check in girl has been smiling, she has seen the amount of equipment we have so what could go wrong?

On reaching the desk the girl asks if we have anything to check in, surely she has notice 3 trolley loads of gear. We explain that we have the boards and I have prepaid for them etc however nothing is straight forward when travelling with windsurfing gear. To cut a long story short she called her supervisor who then called his administrator who then advised us that we would have to pay a little extra. We had over 90 kg extra luggage above the allowance that we had prepaid. I have to take my hat off to Easy Jet they were always trying to help and very understanding. We had to pay £90.00 extra for the gear. The check in girl then told me that if her supervisor had gone by the book it would have been £ 480.00.

Hats off to Easy Jet.

A slight delay on leaving but all booked on, comfy chairs on the plane here we go.

10.00pm and touch down in Rhodes, Manoli Kritsiotis the Karpathos organiser has arranged for us to be picked up and put up over night until the ferry leaves the next day. We are joined by Marion Raisi from France who in competing in the woman's event. Her trip didn't start very well with her boards not arriving.

The next day we bump into the new Mr Mistral, Anders Bringdal then Finain Maynard and have lunch on the beach front with them. What the two of them don't know about windsurfing and the industry is not worth knowing, it was a very informative and entertaining lunch.

The boat should leave at 6.00pm however we have been informed that it is late and will leave at 8.00pm, we will be picked up at 5 and taken to the port.

On loading the all the gear into the trucks the driver lets us know the ferry won't be in until 12.00pm. This is great news for Marion as her boards are due to arrive on that night's 9.00pm flight. She stays behind to pick up her boards and the rest of us make our way to the port, a little confused as to why we are going so early when the boat isn't due to leave for 7 hours.

We are dropped off just outside the ferry compound and told that the ticket office would open 1 hour before the boat was supposed to leave, I say ticket office what I mean is ticket box. There isn't any terminal just a car park full of trucks. It is just about at this time that Finian is starting to get a little tetchy with being dropped off so early, it won't be the last time tonight he gets a little heated.

There is a small hot dog caravan serving what can be loosely described as food so it's Hot Dogs all round. It was a very apt description of what we ate, it was hot and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out it was dog.

The ticket box opened at 11.00pm, the boat arrived and then all hell broke loose, there were trucks driving in and out in all directions, police blowing whistles at everybody, complete pandemonium. We had approximately 20 minutes before the boat was going to leave and a walk of 1/2 mile from where we were dropped of to the boat, an average of 7 bags per head to carry (don't panic). Finian asked the ports police for a trolley or van to help, he didn't want to know which threw Finian's tetchy mood into full rage. I can assure you you don't want to upset him, 110kg of muscle with attitude verbally going full force.

(I have to also say that Finian is one of the nicest blokes you will meet, says it how it is and willing to help anyone however if you don't agree with him you better have a very good reason why! I like him.)

As all this is kicking off and I don't know whether we will all be spending the night in a Greek prison sharing a 6' x 4' cell with Nikoli the nutter Marion arrives in a pick up with her boards. Unbelievable timing, saved by the French who would have believed it. 5 back and to journeys and everything is loaded on the boat, we have cabins for a quick sleep and await arrival in Karpathos.

6.00am Friday and we arrive looking a bit worse for wear. The sun is just rising and it is blowing its socks off. Manoli is at the harbour to greet us and let us know the Greek event the week earlier had force nine winds. Chris Lockwood won with 42 knots.

Later that day we have registration and a chance to get out on the water. It's blowing 28 knots and most of the competitors get out with their GPS's checking their speeds and the course.

It's a 250m course in Karpathos and a very specialised track. Finian was filling us in on the way over about how much of a lottery the course is, someone always gets one really quick run per leg out of the blue.

You sail upwind between a small island and the shore into the next bay where you gybe, sail back tight to the headland in between the bays beat up to the start and bear away down the course. Once you make through the finish there is approximately 75m to slow down or gybe before hitting the rocks. It is unbelievably how quickly 75m runs out when you are full tilt 40 knots. After my second run I had to abandon ship causing a collision with myself and the board. A small hole in the base of the board and a leg that hurts like hell was the outcome.

Saturday was the first day of competition. The fleet is divided into a Gold and silver fleet. The top 18 in world rankings are in the gold, the rest in silver. Silver sails first and the top five then join the Gold fleet, Gold sails next and the bottom five from that will join the Silver fleet in the next round and so on. This means that there could be a situation that you sail in every round of Gold and Silver.

The silver fleet heads out for round one and I have to confess I am all over the place. The round is 40 minutes long and I am changing sail settings, changing sails and getting no where. As the week carries on I realise that you have to pick the right setup from the start and sail around and around without stopping to increase the chances of being in the right place at the right time for a good run. The wind is very gusty, full of holes. Every ten minutes you will have a run that is flat out all the way down the course.

The top five go up to the Gold fleet and that starts 30 mins after the end of the Silver.

Finian won the first round from Antoine Albeau with Hans Kreisel in third. Bjorn Dunkerbeck back in 15th. The level of speeds is incredible compared to 15 years ago, everyone is so close.

1/2 a knot would bring you up ten places.

The next round saw Finian drop to 4th, Dirk Van Knol for Holland in 1st, Antoine 2nd and Anders 3rd.

Finian was to win 4 out of the next five rounds with 2nd being traded between Antoine, Anders and Bjorn with the overall results finishing in that order.

Finian was totally tuned to the spot. He had special boards made with a bit more V than normal and more volume to counteract the gusty winds and choppy course. He sailed his 7.0 Pryde sail in every heat and was dominant. He has a real presence on and off the water.

Antoine was consistent but with new speed boards from JP wasn't quite as tuned, he also sailed his Pryde 7.0 the whole week.

Anders didn't really know what to expect coming into this event and being away during his wife giving birth to baby boy Axle half way through the event must have been tough on him. As I said before what Anders doesn't know about windsurfing isn't worth knowing and it will be really interesting to see what changes are made to the Mistral range for 2010. Congratulations Anders on so many fronts.

Bjorn managed to scrape up to 4th. He had all sorts of problems with his prototype sails and
breaking 2 masts, out on the course didn't help. He did show his incredible determination by coming back from 15th in the first round.

The woman's competition was dominated by Valerie Ghibaudo winning all 8 rounds. Second place went to Marion Raisi who finished every round in second place and third went to Birgit Hoefer.

All in all it was a great event and a great spot. It never blew as strong as in the Greek event however it did blow all week. Seven rounds were completed allowing for 2 discards.

Speed strips are coming hard to find, Sotavento's sand banks have moved making it impossible to have an event there and none of the tops guys are keen on Namibia believing the organisers only want the windsurfers there to help subsidise the kite sailors.

I would highly recommend a visit to Karpathos. Be warned however it's not the easiest of destinations to get to. On the way back the ferry was delayed again and I had to leave my gear to be freighted back so that we could catch the inter island plane and connect on time to my flight back to Gatwick. Very stressful.

The best way of having a holiday there would be to book through Club Mistral. Alexandra in the Mistral office is one of the nicest people you will meet, In fact everybody we met on the island was incredibly helpful.

My sailing week was another learning curve. I will be up into mid twenties in the world rankings after Karpathos and have two more events at Weymouth and in Ireland before the years end. I am hoping this will bring me up well inside the top twenty and end the year highest ranked British sailor.

After ten years out of competition sailing this would be more than I could have asked for at the start of the year and give me a good starting point for next year.

Thanks to Manoli, Alexandra, Club Mistral, Pierre Bisson

During the event I developed blisters on my hands, I'll add a photo soon, on returning to Guernsey I had a check up with the doctor mainly about my leg that I knocked on the first day. He looked at my hands and advised that I should have had one blister on my right hand stitched and the one on my left was big enough to have a skin graft. My leg had internal bleeding with nerve damage which may heal, time will tell. Sailing 3 hours a day for a week takes it toll!

PS; Obviously what goes on tour stays on tour but what a trip. It's still the same buzz if you are twenty or forty. Pierre you were great company

I'll never forget the Monday night with Anders, Finian, Peter and Ben wetting the babies head (obviously just with 1/2 a lager shandy) yeah right believe that you'll believe anything!

My sponsors are: Hot Sails Maui - Starboard - Beachcomber Hot Tubs

Useful links:


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Living on Guernsey has a lot of advantages and I wouldn't live anywhere else however getting off the rock isn't easy.

There are ships to St Malo France and Portsmouth England but when you have to fly out of Gatwick to any destination with windsurf gear the trouble starts.

If I catch the boat then you have to allow even more time away fro the family travelling, then you have the problem of parking the car somewhere at the airport.

Flying off the island obviously tackles the time away problem however more problem creep out.

I booked my flight from Guernsey to Gatwick, checked if the plane could take windsurf boards, they could it was under a winter sports section £ 25.00 per board. To double check I went to the airport and was told it would probably be £ 25.00 per bag, OK I have 5 sail bags and board bags but at least I will be able to fly.

After all this I thought I might as well email the airline and ask if there was any chance of a discount on the excess baggage since I am flying out to represent Guernsey and GB in the world champs.

Their reply was,

Setting aside the question of cost, we are somewhat concerned at the practicality of carrying 3 surfboards and 4 rigs on a busy summer flight. Additional baggage is only accepted on a 'subject to space' basis.


I have to advise you that our Station Manager in Guernsey is of the opinion that we would be unable to accommodate all the equipment that you need to take with you. I have therefore been instructed to offer you a full refund of your flight ticket. Please let me know if you wish to cancel your flights with us and I will authorise the refund of your ticket.

Good of them to offer a refund I guess.

Next step. I phoned the Beachcomber Hot Tub importer, one of my sponsors, to ask if I can ship the equipment to their Gatwick stores and then have them deliver it to the airport. A bit cheeky to say the least but if you don't ask you don't get. They said no problem.

On to TNT to ship it, next problem Guernsey is VAT exempt, any goods sent to England are liable to VAT. Hopefully we have got over that by putting a low value on the gear.

Next problem, the cost of shipping the gear should be priced on volume not weight which will come to approx £ 400.00 one way! TNT did a deal and only charged me £ 160.00.

The gear has now left and should be in Gatwick on Friday. I wanted to make sure there was a bit of time to get things sorted if it goes pear shaped.

My flight is on Wednesday the 29th fro Guernsey to Gatwick then out to Rhodes with Easyjet. the gear is booked on Easyjet so hopefully there won't be any more problems however it is never easy travelling with windsurf equipment.

My good friend Pierre Bisson is travelling with me to take photos of the event. You'll be able to view the pics on

I'll keep you posted.

No wonder my hair has fallen out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July update

I have been a bit slack with the updates.

I have received confirmation that I have a spot in the world championships in Karpathos Greece. It's a big relief to get in and I've booked the flights.

July 29th Guernsey to Gatwick 8.40 arrive 9.40
July 29th Gatwick to Rhodes 13.55 arrive 20.00
July 30th Rhodes to Karpathos ferry 7.00 arrive 14.00

July 31st Registration
August 1st - 5th Competition

Augsut 6th Karpathos to Rhodes ferry 14.00 arrive 19.15
August 6th Rhodes to Gatwick 21.40 arrives 23.45
August 7th Gatwick to Guernsey 8.40 arrives 9.40

I have had some good light wind training in the few weeks, a session on the 7.4m sail yesterday which was very productive. The sea was rough however I still clocked up 32.96 knots, the nice thing is the sails are accelerating with every gust and the boards and fins are so stable you can push them through the chop with no spin out at all.

From what I can make out Karpathos is a broad 250m choppy course with wind blowing force 5-8. If that is the case then I will be using 6.6, 7.3, 8.0 sails on the Staboard Isonic 94 and W53. I will take a 6.0 square meter sail just in case.

In the past I was always very competitive on broad courses like Tarifa and Fuerteventura. 6.0 and 6.6 square meter sails were always my best sails. I am still not as sail fit as I used to be but I working on that as much as mother nature allows. On Monday I ran 8 miles which tells me I am in good a shape. Greece should be good, I am really looking forward to it.

I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June Update

We have had plenty of 8.0m sailing weather over the last few weeks but nothing to get your teeth into and start posting some speeds.

The world championships are coming up soon and I am in training to looses a few more pounds for that event. The event is in Karpathos Greece, link below. The event is slightly different to usual as it is timed over a 250m long course instead of 500m. This also means that the event is only open to 45 competitors.

The entry eligibility list is as per D1 of the Speed World Cup Rule book below. The world cup last year didn't take place due to lack of wind so that frees up a few places however the world rankings are on a roll over basis so for me to get in is going to be tight. I reckon I am in about 35th position an the entry list to get in, entry closes on the 26th June. I'll keep you posted.



D1. Entry Eligibility and Reserved Entry
Anyone wishing to compete in Speed:World:Cup World and Continental Championship events
may only do so with the approval of the Speed:World:Cup and his national authority.
All entries into the main section of an Speed:World:Cup World or Continental Championship
event shall be handled by the Speed:World:Cup Office.
The maximum total number of entries including men, women and wildcards may not exceed 60
competitors on a 500m course, and 45 competitors on a 250m course. Entries will be separated
into two or more fleets if necessary. If possible, only one fleet racing shall be used.
Even though all Speed:World:Cup events are in an open entry format, the following entries for
World and Continental Championship events are qualified by right:
Personal Qualification:
Top 5 last World Championship
Top 5 last Production World Championship
All continental champions
Slot qualification
Top 5 current GPSSS 500m ranking
Unlimited number of women
5 Wildcards Speed:World:Cup
5 Wildcards Organiser
1 Wildcard per corporate member (manufacturers)
Remaining Places are granted strictly by current ISWC ranking. All entries need to be confirmed
by their respective national authority.
Exceptions to these limits may be made by the ISWC Management Board.
There might be a minimum qualifying speed to ensure high level competition.
If more entrants request starting eligibility than slots available, seeding shall be done with the
help of the current ISWC ranking to the discretion of the race committee.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We have waited so long for good wind conditions in Guernsey but it's here now. Yesterday was another great session on the Starboard w53 and Hot Sails GPS 6.6.

Cross onshore winds and choppy but a good session. That combination of board and sail just works so well, it can be pushed really hard. What I need is some flat water now!

Todays wind is about 20 knots and I'll be out later when the tide falls a little. Tomorrow the forcast is 25 knots and dead crossshore which should flatten out the water at low tide.

I'll keep you informed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Awesome session out at Perelle yesterday.

Perelle is literally on my doorstep and offers some of the best speed sailing you can find. The best wind direction is Northerly or Southwest. I can rig up, leave the kit on my front lawn and sail when the the tide is at it's optimum height, come in and store the equipment in my shed rigged for the next day.

Yesterday it was blowing North East force 6-7 which meant the strip was at a tight angle ie no good speeds but a lot of fun.

I rigged my Hot Sails GPS 6.6 and rode the Starboard W53. What a combination!!

I was on the limit with the 6.6. The acceleration as you bore away was phenomenal, unfortunately with the wind North East you only had a run of 120 degrees off the wind for about 100m. By the time you were hitting top speeds the rocks were looming large.

The session was one of the best I have had for tuning and tweaking the kit.

Check out the pics!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Port St Louis 2009

Monday 23/03/2009

We’re off!!

Finally it’s time to drive down to the competition. I have been waiting for this for 4 months since I made the decision to compete again. I have put in the hours to get back into shape and now there is no more I can do to prepare.

The tour bus went on a ferry from Guernsey to St Malo, France on Saturday and I jumped on an Aurigny Trilander this morning to Dinard airport, caught a taxi to the docks and picked up the van. On the road at 10.30 well ahead of schedule.

I have to pick up some sails from Surf Avenue Surf shop just outside of St Malo which is where I have started writing. The shop doesn’t open till 12 which will put me behind schedule. I have an estimated 13 hour drive down to Port St Louis and I want to break the back of it today. The forecast looks really good for a windy contest.

It’s been quite a journey just getting to where I am. 6 day weeks in the gym and sailing whenever there has been wind (not a lot). I have shed 28 pounds in the process and feel in good shape. The lack of water time is an issue and I will only find out how much when we start competing. I’m surprised how the butterflies have kicked in already this morning, it’s been 10 years since I last competed and I don’t really know what to expect. I asked my children this morning what they thought would be a good result, Jacques my oldest reckoned 25th would be good however he predicts last spot ( nice to know he has confidence in me ) Luke is looking for anywhere in the prize money. I think my wife is just glad to see me 2 stone lighter. I have been out too long to predict what position I could make, this trip is more about learning what I need to do to get back to the top however I can say that it will have 110 percent commitment.

The sun is out, my sunnies on and we’re back on tour. It don’t get much better!!

Tuesday 24/02/2009

I arrived late last night and had a couple of hours sleep in the back of the van, it was too late to book into the Hotel however by the morning I have learnt something already, I am past the age of sleeping in the back of a van.

It has been blowing approximately 30 knots today with forecast to drop slightly then pick up even stronger for Sunday.

Down on the beach the competitors have started to arrive, Anders Bringdal, Fabien Pendle, Pascal Boulanger, Olivier Auge, the Moussilmani brothers, it was good to catch up with some old friends after all this time. They also live in the area so it’s good to get the local knowledge on the spot.
Anders Bringdal has a big team down here sailing his AB+ boards, although he says it’s just the boys. They all live around this area and sail in the Mistral winds all year round.

The French sailors are always difficult to beat on their own patch and their history in speed sailing is second to none with Pascal Maka. Thierry Bielek and Antoine Albeau dominating the speed circuit and world records for the past 25 years. To the best of my knowledge there has only been Finian Maynard and Eric Beale who have held world records and not been French in that time, Eric sailed for Great Britain but is half French.

The course is how I expected it, quite choppy. The wind blows about 110 degrees to the shore line and today was swinging to 120 for small 5 minute periods. If you catch it at the right time your speed will soar compared to the rest.

There is a rigging area with large truck containers to leave your kit in however with everyone cramming their gear in with no regard for yours I think it will be easier to rig 3 sails a day, probably 6, 6.6 & 7.3 every day and if the wind blows as forecast sail with my Starboard Isonic W54 at first to get some times in then start experimenting with the W49.

First impressions of my accommodation Hotel Tarmaris is that it will be adequate but as the week goes on it proves to be more than adequate. The owners are very friendly and the restaurant serves beautiful food, the Salade Nicoise and Moules Frites were fantastic.

It would have been nice to have a long soak in the bath after sailing however my room’s bath is one of the smallest I have ever seen. I am 6’7” tall, the bath is 3’6” long!!

Registration is at 8am tomorrow with a possible start at 10am.

No more news today, it all kicks off tomorrow.

Wednesday 25/03/2009

Registration was from 8am – 10 am, at 8.45 you start to wonder if you have the correct spot, 9 am registration starts. The French haven’t changed since last time I competed. Why start registration when you are supposed to when the wind hasn’t picked up enough to race anyway.

The wind is almost straight off shore blowing about 12 knots. People are sailing but it’s not a good wind strength for the course and its starting to swing to the west then back to the east i.e. 1 run you would be sailing on port tack the next starboard tack. Obviously this couldn’t work. The start times are being pushed back and back. 2 pm and at the skippers meeting it is announced that the wind has stabilised to the west and strengthened slightly. They will have to change the course around but we may be able to start at 3.15.

It’s light winds, most competitors are sailing with 7.0m sails on slalom boards, I opt for my 8.0m Hotsails and my Starboard Isonic 94.

The course is extremely bumpy. This is a day for the dedicated slalom guys. I have seen it plenty of times before, they sail slalom boards and big sails all the time and have them tuned to perfection.

The course had to be run in the opposite direction to how it was set up due to the wind swinging to the west which means that we won’t have the score board at the end of the run to see how we are doing with speed time and position. They decide to have a time keeper writing down the speeds so that you can come ashore and check times. In theory this sound good however with so many sailors coming through it ends up all too much. When I checked my speed was 31.5 knots. I new that I had a fastest run in the bag and seeing the top speeds going through at mostly 32 knots, added to this my GPS telling me I had a top speed of 35.31 knots and a 10 second average of 33.82, it made me think I was in contention.

The results aren’t out until tomorrow so it will be a long agonising wait to see if we have done well or more adjustments need to be done.

Thursday 26/03/2009

The results are out and it’s a bit of a shocker for me 25th place. During the session I was thinking about changing to the 7.3m sail but thinking my times were in contention I carried on with the 8.0m. It may of helped however there is no point crying over spilt mik.

We have woken up to 10 knots of Mistral wind blowing straight off shore. The problem with the Mistral is it could anything. I tweaked a muscle in my back yesterday while rigging up so I could do with a day off.

The wind has strengthened and we’re reading to go. The course is to be sailed on starboard tack which means we will be able to see the results at the end of the run. It’s blowing great 7.3m weather on the Isonic speed 53. First run down the course and I’m in 10th place, happy days we’re back on track and something to build on. As I am sailing back up wind I can feel the wind decreasing and sure enough I can’t make another run on the speed 53. I change to my Isonic 94 with the 7.3 and make another run but the wind is dying all the time, back out with the 8.0m and make a couple more runs but its not looking good, we have guys out who weigh between 80 – 85 kg and are cruising around on 49cm wide speed boards and 7.0m sails, I’m 112kg and just about getting in runs on a mid size slalom board and 8.0m. As soon as I am on my 53cm speed board and 7.3 it seems I can compete but at the moment it’s too light. The results won’t be out until tomorrow as they have had a problem with the timing, I don’t hold out much hope of a good result.

Friday 27/03/2009

The results are out and I have moved up to 23rd position.
No wind today. The forecast is to have a Mistral wind on Sunday, the last day, and stronger than we have had so far. The lack of water time for me has proved a major factor however there wasn’t much I could do about that given that the wind didn’t blow at home. The pulled muscle stiffens up when I am sat down for any lengthof time, I keep popping the pain killers which seem to help.

If we have three rounds of competition we have a discard day. What I have to hope for is two good rounds on Sunday and pull myself up into the top 20. I think a top 20 given the extremely light conditions would be a success at this stage.

The day finishes with no sailing and a forecast of light to medium onshore winds tomorrow.

Saturday 28/03/2009

Woken up early by the sound of the wind.

Down at the beach it’s blowing approximately 20 knots straight onshore. The sea has confused waves all the way down the course.

I have sailed a speed contest in onshore winds before in St Marie de la Mer however there we had a path through and in-between the waves, today we haven’t. Also with a forecast of rain I don’t see how they can run the leg with the speed cameras pointing into the wind being pelted with rain.

If I was a betting man I would probably bet that they will run the leg. Nightmare!!

The day’s sailing has been cancelled. The forecast for tomorrow is so good they hope to run two legs in the one day.

Sunday 29/03/2009

Not good.

Down at the beach early and its overcast and blowing approximately 10 knots. The forecast is for a strong Mistral wind but it’s not happening yet. Everybody is saying that the Mistral won’t blow strong until the clouds depart and the sun comes out. At the moment it is drizzling

Last possible start is at 3.30. All day we are looking at the water saying yes it’s picked up, no it’s dropped.

At 3.15 the race director blows the starting horn. We’re off.

Its light winds again 8.0m and slalom board for me. I have added as much down haul as I can for this leg and it seems to be working, two runs down the course and I am in second place. I know I am on borrowed time here however, not having had a great “water time” preparation for the event I will probably get 10 runs in at the most, where as sailors such as the Moussilmani brothers will make 20. The law of averages tells me they will get a better chance of good runs in that time.

As the leg runs on slowly I am falling back in the pack, 13th place now. The wind has strengthened and I swap to my 7.3m sail and 53cm wide speed board, there must only be about 15 minutes left. It’s a lot more comfortable making the run but it’s not fast, I have slipped to 16th which is understandable with the time involved with changing equipment.

As I set off back up wind the mast pops through the top of the sail. The sail tip has broken. I didn’t check that the sail tip insert was properly located in the top of the mast and that means at least a 1.5 km walk with gear to the rigging area. That is the end of my sailing there will not be time to fix and get back out.

The leg finishes and I am 18th, bringing me up to 22nd overall.


It is only when you start to compete that you learn so much about what you have to do to go faster. The amount I have learnt is incredible and it will only put me in a better position for the next event.

I couldn’t have wished for a more warm welcome from the French. As usual they made me feel at home and were great company. Particular thanks goes out to Anders for translating a lot of the skippers meeting for me, he must have thought I was a pain in the arse for asking all the time.

I ended up with a GPS max speed of 36.69 knots using an 8.0m sail on a slalom board and a mountain of knowledge.

I have written an event report for Windsurf Magazine and got some good pictures of the event.

I know what needs to be done for the next event. I am still too heavy and need to loose another 7kg. When I look at the results it is clear to see that in the light winds the 85kg guys make it through the lulls to secure good times, being 112kg when a lull comes along if I am on a small board I sink which is as much of a problem going back up the course as making a run. The outcome is that you are struggling all the time which in turn tires you out more.

Anders is just over 100kg and just about kept up with the lighter sailors. During the speed tour you have to be able to sail in all conditions.

In stronger winds the percentage that the wind dies in the lulls is far smaller. i.e. If I am racing in 18 knots of wind and the it dies to 13 knots I stop and sink, if I am racing in 30 knots of wind and it dies to 25 knots you keep sailing through the lulls.

It looks like it’s back on the tread mill when I get back and time to get on the water a lot more.

I will keep you informed.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SPEED SESSION 08/03/2009

The wind was light to start this morning (force 4) with a forecast to come around from the NW to SW and increase. With a low tide and flat water at 10.50 it was always going to be a juggle to get out with flat water but have enough wind. The tide had changed and was coming up quick. I decided to get out there with the GPS 8.0m on the Starboard Isonic 94 with a 34cm Drake fin. The sail was the right one for the wind strength however the water was really choppy, it was full on even with a 8.0. The board was flying, 42 knots over 500m with a 6.0 years ago felt just as fast as the 8.0 and Starboard 94. I came in and put more down haul on before my last run which was the best in the worst conditions 34 knots. I don't see any problem getting 38-40 knots out of this sail especially on flat water and maybe the W53.

SPEED SESSION 09/03/2009

I had another good session today with the 7.3 Hot Sails GPS and the Starboard W53 then the Starboard 94. No times however it was more open water sailing (no flat water) The W53 is such a user friendly board and handles the 7.3 fine. I was a bit sceptical when I was told it could handle a 7.3. Also used the C3 venom 30cm fin on the 53 and a 32cm on the 94 both were great, no spin outs at all.

All in all a really good session with a lot of answers. Only two weeks till the competition of the year and everything is going to plan or better than plan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


We were expecting 28mph wind speed for this Sunday up to two days ago now it is forecasting 14mph. No chance of cracking out some GPS speeds this week. The long range forecasts do look like the high pressures that are constantly hanging over us are going and we will get some low pressures tracking through.

I have been checking out another potential speed spot at Perelle Bay in Guernsey. At mid to low tide it will work from SSW to NW wind direction.

When I was last competitively into speed sailing most of my windsurfing training in Guernsey was wave sailing now that I'm back I am totally focused on speed, I don't even have any wave sails.

Driving around the coast I always looking out for new speed spots for different wind directions.

I just ordered a new set of fins from C3 in New Zealand. Their Venom G10 speed fins, 5 fins from 24cm to 32 cm. These fins are widely used in speed circles and have had some great times recorded.

I made a lot of mistakes the first time around with speed fins and don't want to make them again. I figure start with the best and move on from there with design input.

My entry for the speed contest in Port St Louis France went off today. It runs from the 25th March - 29th March. I have sailed at St Marie de la Mer just down the road but I haven't sailed at Port St Louis yet.

I hope to have better news with the wind situation over here soon and post some speeds.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SPEED SESSION 10/02/2009

The wind was blowing force 8 - 9 all night. I was set up at 10 am on the North shore of Guernsey at a new spot that looks great at low tide for speed, approx 700m run, on shore winds but sheltered by reefs at low tide. I took a 6 and 6.6 and my Starboard 49, rigged the 6.6. The wind was slowly dying and the session never really got going. I should have taken my Starboard isonic 94 which would have got me out to the speed strip quicker. The wind was blowing NW force 6 maybe 7 by the time I got in. To get out to the speed spot was a beat straight out from the beach. On a speed board and 6.6 in a small bay it wasn't happening, by the time you bore off to get on the plane and tried to get up wind you were at the other end of the bay. It was productive however, the boards straps are difficult to get big enough to use with boots (did I mention it was 7 degrees air temp, water 6 degrees). I will change the straps tonight. Pierre Bisson took some snaps although the sails aren't labeled up yet. The session was not what I had been thinking about all night but the site has potential and NW is the right direction. I shall definitely sail it again.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Am I a windsurfer who runs or a runner who windsurfs?

The weather in Guernsey is horrendous. We have just had 3 days of the worst snow in twenty years, we only get snow once every 6 or 7 years. Now we are experiencing torrential rain!!

Checking out the blogs from Maui don't help.

Look on the bright side.

I have been flat out in the gym for 5 weeks now and am really feeling the benifits. My Sartboards have arrived and look great. My new Hotsails GPS's are in Guernsey ( held by customs! )but I should have them soon and the forcast can't get any worse.

25 miles on the tread mill this week and wound like a curled spring ready to go.

Watch Out!!

Talk soon


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SPEED 2009

Its been a long time but I'm back for speed this year.

During the 90's I was ranked in the top ten every year, a best of equal 4th with Thierry Bielak in 94.

A lot gone on since then, marriage, two boys now 11 & 9, a successful business.

There is something missing however and that is speed.

It was the wife that really got the ball rolling, I talked about coming back at the start of last year and when I brought up the subject again over Christmas she said " go for it ". As all us shackled blokes now, if the little lady says to do something who's going to argue.

I'm absolutely stoked to be teaming up with Jeff and Tom of HOT SAILS MAUI. I had my best results when I sailed for them in the 90's and apart from that have you seen the GPS sails!!

The plan is to get a top GPS speed time on the new kit and then compete on the speed circuit and see some top results.

Talk soon