Friday, October 29, 2010


I sailed the new Starboard 107 this morning in 5 - 25 knots of wind with a 7.3m sail.

The board has plenty of volume to get going but doesn't feel too big when fully lit. I used the Black Porject 35 race fin and had no spin outs at all. The scoop in the deck really helps with control. Compared to the 101 its so much better. The 101 for me was ok with a 8m sail but when you put a smaller sail on it felt bouncy and out of control. The 107 trims just great through chop and is lightning quick to excellerate peaking at 36.09 knots today.

All looks good for Port St Louis

Photos to follow.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weymouth International Speed Week 2010

A very strange event!

Weymouth is one of my favourite speed events, the facilities are fantastic, great restaurants, guest houses and a direct ferry from Guernsey.

2009 was the first time I competed at Weymouth and with a fourth place finish I was really looking forward to 2010.

The weather forecast leading up to the event was about as bad as it could be, NO WIND! As the week edged closer the forecast started to look better with a slight possibility of some light winds during the week.

There are a number of different competitions running at the same time during Weymouth and they all have slightly different rules regarding results (some of these changed as the contest went along). I’ll try and explain the differences below.

Weymouth Speed week

Daily speeds are taken regardless of wind strength and direction with the fastest Windsurfer, Boat and Kite surfer prices daily.

The winner of the event is the vessel with the fastest run of the week.

You also have a veterans prize for over 45’s counting their best single run over the week, winning boat, windsurfer, kite, woman’s windsurfer, professional fleet, gold fleet, amateur, novice and youth.

Alongside this there is the UKWA men’s and woman’s champion which is based on the average of your two fastest speeds (having your best average was only decided during the contest) and the British Kite surfing champion.

Also there are the World speed tour ranking points based on the average of your two fastest runs per leg sailed. In Weymouth each leg has to have 25% of the fleet sail faster than 28 knots on an open ocean course and 30 knots on an offshore coastal course, normally in a World Tour Event it would be if 5 sailors reached these speeds the day would count. The time of each leg is at the discretion of the organisers but at every World tour event apart from Weymouth these would mean 1.5hr legs with and hour in between meaning you could have 1 day where you have 3 legs, this evens up the contest making it a fairer indication of who is the fastest sailor. In Weymouth they have two different legs per day whatever the wind strength but it is only classed as one. (I don’t know why either)

I know what you are thinking why not have all the competitions the same.

Are you keeping up?!

Saturday 16th October was registration day and with a light North East wind some competitor’s ventures out onto the water with huge sails. The wind was blowing 10 – 12 knots which wasn’t enough for a World Tour event.

Sunday 17th October saw even lighter NE winds of 8 - 10 knots.

Monday 18th October and the wind was starting to build. With 14 – 16 knots NW winds most of the sailors ventured out onto the Harbour course. We almost had a counting day; my fastest run was 27.99 knots which placed me 4th.

Tuesday 19th October and again we have 14 – 16 knots NW wind on the course. The morning leg from 10.30 – 12.30 sees speeds of over 28 knots. The afternoon leg sees the wind increase slightly and the speeds are increasing. The course is set 1 km up wind of the rigging area and at 4.30pm as per the morning briefing most of the sailors sail back thinking their day is done, including me. Once on shore the event organiser announces that the leg has been extended by 30 minutes.

This shouldn’t have happened, if the course gets extended then a flagged signal has to be placed on the course. It wasn’t. It also meant that some sailors had their best runs during this period. The day was also counted as one leg however it could have had two counting legs, this meant that some competitors sailed for the last hour only and had a great result.

Wednesday and Thursday saw the wind back off to 8 – 10 knots.

Friday looked promising to start but in the end speeds weren’t fast enough to have counting legs for the World Tour.

Overall I place third in the Professional Windsurfer fleet. A podium finish with prize I was informed on Thursday however by the time Friday prize giving came about the Professional Windsurfer fleet had been added to by a Professional Kite surfer which pushed me down to 4th.

I was using my Hot Sails Maui 8.8m sail with Sarboard Isonic 122 and 40cm Black Project fin. A great combination for the day. I could of change my boards down a size later in the completion however with such gusty winds I didn’t want to miss any good conditions that came through. Sailing out on an open ocean course makes changing equipment difficult.

That’s the bad news, the good news is that with another solid result added to the German Speed Championships from last month my world ranking has jumped up to 14th. 2010 World Tour is based on your best three events this means that at the moment 9 sailors in front of me are counting the last event in 2009 as one of their counting 3. Next stop is Port St Louis in the Camargue region of France. This is the biggest event of the year carrying the most points.

Is it going to be my year? I don’t know but I am in the right position to have a go.

Windsurfing Speed World Cup Ranking 2010
Pos Name Nation Total Best 3 out of 5 Results1
Anders Bjorkqvist SWE 336,64 168,00 91,89 76,74 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- EC 09 Swe 10 Gbr 10
2 Steven Flanagan IRL 272,27 193,20 79,07 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- EC 09 Gbr 10
3 BALDINI Andrea ITA 261,56 210,00 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Challenger Sails EC 09 Bel 10
4 KREISEL Hans NED 211,16 159,60 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- EC 09 Bel 10
5 HAACKE Bjoern GER 206,11 84,78 69,77 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- Ger 10 Gbr 10 Bel 10
6 MALLON Torsten GER 205,96 86,96 67,44 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- Ger 10 Gbr 10 Bel 10
7 FUCHS Manfred GER 204,09 80,43 72,09 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, KA Sails Ger 10 Gbr 10 Bel 10
8 DUNKERBECK Bjorn SUI 201,60 201,60 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Starboard, Severne EC 09
9 BORNEMANN Christian GER 185,96 134,40 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Carbon Art EC 09 Bel 10
10 Dirk Jan Knol NED 184,80 184,80 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Loft Sails EC 09
11 GEESINK Anton NED 177,56 126,00 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Loft Sails EC 09 Bel 10
12 Pearse Geaney IRL 176,40 176,40 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- EC 09
13 BORGELIND Daniel SWE 165,18 83,78 81,40 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- Swe 10 Gbr 10
14 OGIER Martyn GBR 159,81 83,72 76,09 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Starboard Gbr 10 Ger 10
15 Monty Spindler USA 151,20 151,20 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Loft Sails EC 09
16 NAUMANN Michael GER 149,39 97,83 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/-, Loft Sails Ger 10 Bel 10
17 VAN HOOF Patrick BEL 149,24 97,67 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- Gbr 10 Bel 10
18 DAVIS Peter GBR 146,29 92,40 51,56 2,33 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- EC 09 Bel 10 Gbr 10
19 MERLE Manfred GER 145,04 93,48 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
-/- Ger 10 Bel 10
20 HOEFER Armin GER 142,87 91,30 51,56 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The van is packed and I am ready for Weymouth.

Two great days of sailing in Guernsey. Sunday onshore wavesailing and yesterday a speed session at a new spot.

Yesterdays wind was North East and the tide was high, usaully this provides no speed strip at all but when passing Grande Havre Bay I pulled in and at the Northern end the wind was blowing over the headland and offshore providing nice smooth water. Not knowing if it was sailable I opted for a 7.3m on the Isonic 101. The strip is only aproximatly 250m long, giving you 100m to beer away and speed up and 50m to slow dowm. 36.7 knots was my top speed, real fun to be out on flat water just wished it was a longer strip.

Speed Tour

Weymouth starts this coming Saturday, with wind forecast on the Saturday and Monday. The forecast is for light winds but we all sail in light winds from time to time.

I don't know why speed competitions have a noose around their necks that the contest isn't a good one unless records are broken. No one worries about a slalom comp with 8m sails so why do people when it's a speed contest.

It's as important to know the fastest 8m2 sail as it is a 5m2 sail and a speed contest is the place to find out. I would rather be sailing with a 5 instead of an 8but its still a contest.

The world speed tour has to re-educate the public to this then we will have a tour to be proud of. Also the tour needs a tour sponsor rather than individual contests. All the national contest are booming, over subscribed at times. These events are up and running a tour sponsor would only have to come in to provide prize money. Prize money doesn't even have to be much but it would give a more professional look to the organisation and help it grow again.

Look at this year, the Belgium event, German event and Weymouth, all great speed events up and running but with no chance of records being smashed, does it matter?

National events with a 7500 euro prize fund, that is what we need. World and European events could follow but get a secure tour in place first.