Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Foot Straps

Just thought I would clarify the foot strap situation as you must think I am a bit of a chump not to check before I went.

The Starboard straps in 2009 / 2010 were too small for my feet, just could get them to expand. The 2011 starboard straps I got for my slalom boards and W54 were great, no problem making them big enough. I then got the 2011 W49 and presumed the straps would be the same, a bit tough the first time you get in to them but then they stretch and are ok. The straps looked identical but after I extended them they wouldn't expand to fit. Don't know why.

I have now fitted some Hot Sails Maui straps on, cosy slipper type comfort, ideal for the 50 knot barrier.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

West Kirby 7th Dec 2011

Where to begin, probably best at the beginning I suppose. As I am starting writing this I am already thinking what a moaning old git I am but you'll have to put up with me, I'll say it as it is. Flew up Tuesday night. I wanted to be fresh and ready for a long session on the water Wednesday and fly back Wed night. Booked into the Greasby Premier Inn at 8pm, scampi and chips, watched half of Transformers on tv then tried to get sleep ready for sailing. You would think that after all this time that falling a sleep would be easy but when your passionate about something the adrenaline/excitement gets going and all you can think about is bombing down that wall at over 40 knots. Woke up early, breakfast at 8am and straight off to the lake. Steve Thorp and Jacques Van de Haut are already back in the car park after a few runs, its freezing. The course is very broad, the start is flat but the word is as you progress down the course the chop get horrendous / unsailable. It's windy Jacques and Steve are on 5m sails, I rig my HotSails GPS 5.5m stick my new Black Project type x 40 in the Starboard Isonic 49. This is the first time I have sailed the board, sail or fin but it's blowing 41 knots steady gusting 53 and down the wall the chop is 30cm high. PERFECT! The type X's come in 35, 40 or 45 sizes, this isn't their actual size this corresponds to the speeds each is designed for. I opted for the 40 as I wanted a bit more grip when I got into the chop. In the car park it was cold but I was taken aback when I got into the water, freezing. Gloves, neoprene hood and boots all needed. I only had neoprene shoes and after one run could feel the base of my feet. Ant Baker lent me a pair of ripped booties which helped for another couple of runs. After my last run I only noticed that my heel was hanging out of the boot when I got back to the car park and looked down, I could feel them at all. Another time after a wipe out I was lying dazed in the water thinking it was weird that I could feel the pressure of the back foot strap but my feet were sinking to the bottom of the lake, how can that be when I have the board attached to me, I sat up in the water and realised the board wasn't there at all it was floating away. The other problem I had was I could get my foot straps big enough and ended up sailing down the course feeling like I could be ripped out of them at any stage. (that's the moaning out of the way) From the car park it was a reach up to the northern start of the wall, then open the throttle. Unbelievable acceleration, watching others bear away they had 7 seconds from the start to when they sheeted out and slowed down because of the chop, I'll post some picture or you can check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omZVNSkdH_Y All day sailors were putting in a run then coming back to the car park waiting for the wind to swing to the West and hope the water would flatten off. It never happened WNW is too broad for West Kirby, too much chop. I ended up completing six runs, all over 42 knots 10 second speeds except the last 2 and all over 44 knots max. One run did stand out however 49.43 Knots maximum 46 knots 10 sec on one gps and 49.62 knots / 46.52 10 sec on the other. I new it was fast because it hurt a lot when I crashed at the end of the run. Today I am back in Guernsey and taking ibuprofen. My left hip is really hurting. Summary- It's all about learning, board rig fin combo were perfect, I have to change foot straps and get a decent pair of booties. The wind angle was perfect for big speeds but West Kirby won't have flat water in that direction. As soon as you were hitting 49 knots the chop was 30 cm high, you couldn't slow down and I crashed after every run. I was pushing hard though. Great to get 49.5 knots max when averaging out my two gps's, one of the fastest speed ever reached on a windsurfer. Believe it or not sailing at 49 isn't as scary as you would think, it's all about being in control. You can be out of control at 36 knots and its as bad. The board rig and fin has been pushed to levels I dreamed about, it's all possible. This isn't what could be my fastest set up. With canal type flat water, 44 cm board, smaller fin I don't see why I can't go faster. I have a idea of the speed possible but won't publish it, I'd rather prove it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

West Kirby

West Kirby here we come. All booked up. Fly up Tue evening fly back Wed evening with a record in the bag, hopefully.

Forecast west force 7-9. If it comes throiugh that should do. Let you know Wed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


December here already. I have spent the whole of November looking at forecasts for West Kirby, missed last weekends session but as it turned out it wasn't epic.

The problem is all the forecasts show epic conditions for 5-7 days time and then gradually back off.

This weekend looks ok but next Wednesday looks fantastic. Fingers crossed, I am desperate to get up there.

Here in Guernsey we have had wind and waves, onshore at Pembroke bay a week ago. Dead cross shore Monday with 3-5' surf at Vazon.

Today I had one of the best sails I have ever had at Perelle reef. Side shore out behind the island with some bombs coming through. The wind lasted about 20 minutes but the surf was the best I have sailed there. Two waves is all I caught and I stoked.

The first half to 3/4 mast, slightly aprehensive as it formed. Perelle surf is deadly, any mistake and your washed up on huge boulders at the back of a small island half a mile off Guernsey. Everything would be gone and a rip that would take you out to the English channel.

But when the waves are good they can live with anywhere on the planet. First wave aprehensive but the second, mast high and peeling. As soon as I took the drop all thoughts of damage went, four buttom to top down the line in the critical section turns and taht will do. Gybed out and the wind had gone, drifted out and back again.

I have never had such a short epic sail.

Went for a mile swim in the pool after and sailed that wave over and over again in my head.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weymouth Speed Week prize giving

Weymouth Speed Week 2011

We have just finished Weymouth Speed Week and have had the best winds of the last three years. Nothing fantastic but two good counting days and one just beneath the minimum required for a count leg.

I have to be a bit careful with my report as I got into trouble last time. The problem with Weymouth is there is so much going on with regard to categories that it’s difficult to keep up.

A quick explanation of competitions under the banner Weymouth Speed Week.

Weymouth Speed Week

Weymouth Speed Champion – Sailing craft producing the fastest single run within the week.

Weymouth Boat Champion – Boat producing the fastest single run within the week.

Weymouth Windsurfing Champion – Windsurfer producing the fastest single run within the week.

Weymouth Kite Champion - producing the fastest single run within the week.

International Speed Windsurfing Association - European Tour Weymouth
Windsurfer that has the fastest average of two runs per leg given that 20% of the fleet record 3 or more runs over 28knots. Men and Woman.

Normally at an ISWA event each leg would be up to 1.5 hours long with a 30 minute break between legs. After 4 legs you can have one discard and after 7 legs you can have two. Due to the complexities of Weymouth each leg is the whole day. (I hope that’s diplomatic enough)
United Kingdom Windsurfing Association - British speed sailing championship
Windsurfer that has the fastest average of two runs during the week given that 20% of the fleet record 3 or more runs over 28knots. Men and Woman.

The great thing about Weymouth is it brings the whole British Speed sailing fraternity together in the same spot. Also with so much going on it is all controlled through Nick Povey, Pete Davis and Paul fantastically well. The GPS timing means that we have accurate timing and results within a couple of hours for finishing the days racing. I have been critical in the past of Weymouth but when you add it all up it is one of the most enjoyable contests to enter. Weymouth is easy to get to, lots of Bed and Breakfast Guest Houses, a superb sailing academy with showers and restaurant, parking and a great rigging area.

Down to the racing

The competition stated on Saturday the 15th October. Not enough wind for sailing but the forecast for the week was looking good to perfect. A nice leisurely day meeting up with old pals and rigging our sails, putting fins in the boards and getting ready for the coming week.
Sunday was the same story but we knew that Monday forecast great winds from the West.
Sure enough on Monday morning we were greeted by 15 knots of wind and a forecast predicting 20 to 25 knots as the day went on. Everybody knew the wind would increase only the locals new that as the tide dropped the water would become rougher. It was a gamble as to how long you were prepared to wait until venturing onto the water, bearing in mind that you would be sailing right up to when the course was to close 5.30pm.
I took to the water at 11.45, the wind was filling in quickly and averaging 18knots on the course. Westerly winds mean sailing from the academy toward Chesil Bank then bearing away for your run out into Portland Harbour, the further down the course the rougher it gets until you are bouncing your way through 12” of chop. If you want quick times there is no letting up at the end of the course, quick and flat on the way in and hold on to your hat on the way out because you are on broad reach with board flying all over the place. As the tide dropped the course got more and more choppy. We did stay out there to the last minute, over five hours nonstop sailing. Five hours nonstop racing is a hard thing to train for, most sailing sessions are about two hours long and only in Weymouth are we sent out for the whole day but it’s the same for everyone and that’s the rules. I sailed the first 3 hours with my Hotsails GPS 8.0m sail on my Starboard Isonic 107 ltr board using a 37cm Black Project fin. Later I changed down to 7.3m sail, 90 ltr board and 35cm fin however with the sea state worsening the speeds didn’t increase.

David Garrell from Luxemburg took the honours with a quickest time of 35.72 knots, average two runs of 35.042 knots, Kevin Greenslade averaging 34.167, Thorsten Mallon 33.776 and myself on 33.626.

That gave me a second place in the UKWA rankings and a third in the IWSA rankings.

The rest of the top sailor’s average speeds put them in

5th Patrick Van Hoof
6th Daniel Borgeland
7th Ant Baker
8th Dave White
9th Guy Cribb
10th Jim Crossley
11th Bob Cunningham

David’s speed was the best for the Weymouth Speed Week windsurfer category.

Day two and the wind had turned slightly more to the North meaning the course was sailing the opposite way round, choppy waters on the outside sailing into flatter water by the finish.

Wind conditions were slightly less than Mondays and again I was on the Hotsails GPS 8.0m sail on my Starboard Isonic 107 ltr board using a 37cm Black Project fin combination. David again had the fastest speeds of the day but it was closer than Monday. Another 4 hour marathon session on the water.

Results of the average speeds of each competitors two best runs.

1st David Garrell 33.431 knots
2nd Kevin Greenslade 33.053 knots
3rd Martyn Ogier 33.007 knots
4th Ant Baker 32.162 knots
5th Stephen Corps 32.123 knots
6th Daniel Borgeland 31.442 knots
7th Patrick Van Hoof 31.437 knots

On the water my GPS showed a max speed of 37.03 knots and a 10 second average of 35.85, having checked with the other riders it was the quickest of the week but unfortunately not over 500m.

After day two I had IWSA ranking points from a third and second place which ranked me 2nd overall behind David Garrell and in the UKWA rankings I had two second places which put me in second behind Kevin Greenslade.

Wednesday and still more wind. Very light winds at the start of the day and although at the end the day the round didn’t count due to insufficient number of runs over 28 knots were completed it was close.

Only three sailors completed more than one run over 28, I managed two, Ant Baker three and Kevin Greenslade managed four. Being the heaviest on the water but sailing the smallest sail, 8.8m, and smallest board, 127 ltr didn't help my cause. Most of the sailors were on 9.5m sails and 140 ltr boards, luckily the rules worked and the day didn't count. When you have to use that size equipment in my opinium it's not speed sailing.

Thursdays forecast was for no wind so we were released for the day. Friday threatened to produce enough but never quite got there.

Final windsurfing results were,

Weymouth Windsurfing Champion – Men - David Garrell
Woman- Zara Davis

International Speed Windsurfing Association 1st David Garrell
2nd Martyn Ogier
3rd Thorsten Mallon
Woman- Zara Davis

British speed sailing championship 1st Kevin Greenslade
2nd Martyn Ogier
3rd Ant Baker
Woman- Zara Davis

A great weeks competition with some really nice people, well organised and fun. Watch out next year I am coming back for the number one spot.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tuning equipment

Last minute tuning of my larger windsurf equipment ready for British Speed Sailing Championships in Weymouth.

Hotsails GPS 8.8 on the Isonic 107 with Black Project R37.5 this morning. This is only the second time I have used this combo but it's so sweet. Even better that I remember from Sweden. I'll use the R40 next time to give me a little more to push against over the chop.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

British Speed Sailing Championships

The British Speed Sailing Championships are just around the corner and I have had a hard decission to make, whether to fly up to West Kirby or tune my bigger gear for the British Champs in Weymouth from the 15th - 21st October.

My heart said West Kirby but my head told me to get some training in on the big kit again.

Also Aurigny Airlines have just stepped in to help me with travel costs fly from Guernsey to Manchester so that I can keep up the record attempts. New Aurigny sail stickers just printed and the chance to get some pictures taken was the sensible thing to do.

Having said that I keep checking if anyone has posted some good speeds.

Next stop Weymouth where I'll also pick up my new small Isonic speed board which will be better for world record attempts. The W54 is a beautiful board to sail and fantastic in Competition sailing when ease of use is as important as ultimate speed but it is too big for real speeds ie above the 45.77 knots already clocked.

Todays sailing was quite light, 8.0m Hotsails GPS and the Starboard Isonic 107 / Black Project R37.5 combo. Clocked up 33.75 max speed but not great sailing. Westerly winds are the worst for getting any sort of flat water. 20 years ago and all I wanted was westerlies for wave sailing.

More testing over the next week and some pictures to add later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

West Kirby Sept 2011

Took my first trip to West Kirby in 18 years yesterday.

Got up at 5.30am, caught the 7am plane to Manchester arriving at 9.30, Hired a car and drove an hour to west Kirby arriving just before 11am. Sailed then caught a plane back this morning.

I took three sails 5.5, 6 & 6.6 One boom two mast and my Isonic 54. 45 kg of equipment, buying a sporting goods extra allowance allows me to take 40kg after that I was charged a horrendous amount for being over.

Ian Richards and Will Trossel were sailing already but the word in the car park was that the tide would breach the wall within 30 minutes and then recede at about 12.30.

Rigged the 6m with Isonic 54 and S type 29cm. Soon to be change to the 26.5 when I missed judged the depth of water. The board works best with the 29 for most points of sailing but is quicker off the wind with the 26.

It was really blowing strong WSW which is almost dead 90 degrees to the wall. We sailed along the wall and then bore away at the end to get fast speeds on both tacks, starboard slightly quicker. The further away from the wall and the chop built and built until it was 12" high and you were at max speeds.

Sailed from 12.45 to 4.45 in as much wind as I could hold on to. Come the end my body was hurting a lot, its not every day you sail in a gale for 4 hours.

Managed a max speed of 45.77 and a max average of 43.44. The sail felt great and could easily go 47, 48 with a broad flat course. Were I was powering through at max was horrendously choppy. The fins both felt great, the 26 slipped a bit as you were beating into the course but when powered up was rock solid.

After the session Ian Richards commented on how good the sail looked and how it was flexing with the gust.

Lessons learnt

The Isonic 54 is a great board so easy to sail and will be perfect for competition.
Would of been better with a 49cm board for quicker times and also with 24cm fin.
No problem with sailing that fast. Having been so long since I sailed over 40 knots I didn't know how 45 would feel with 2011 kit. No problem at all, always felt comfortable and I don't see why pushing 50 will be a problem with the right conditions.

Sailed quicker than any one on the water, Farrel went in at about 5.15pm, the wind had swung a little which may have made it easier for quicker runs but it may not of I can't answer that one because I wasn't on the water. It could be that he is a faster sailor than me but I don't think so, with what I have learnt sailing yesterday I can challenge anyone.

Weymouth is coming up then Port Saint Louis. The results from Germany have thrown the European Tour wide open. I fancied David Garrell for the title after he won in Gruisson but a poor German event has opened the door. I need to be top 3 at least in Weymouth and Port St Louis but again I feel really confident.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good or Bad day

The forcasat was unreal, force 7 to gale 8 SW. Low tide at 7.30 am.

I have been waiting in atisipation for this morning for the past 5 days. Sunday I had a slalom session on my Hot Sails GPS 8.8 and Isonic 127, Monday a wave session on my Smack 5.8 and Evo and today was going to be the day.

I can't make my mind up if it was a good day or bad. Certainly it didn't turn out as I had hoped. The wind was howling all night and I could hardly sleep with excitement. I got up at 6.30 and went straight to Pembroke bay. Offshore winds but it looked light, how could this be all the forecasts give wind, there must be wind out there.

I rigged my 6.6 amd put my Isonic speed 54 and 90 ltr board on the beach, it still didn't look great. I was in just after 7, Low tide was at 7.30 neaping so I would have too long before the tide was too high.

The wind was very square to the course it reminded me a lot of Port St Louis. The wind was blowing force 2 upto 6. Not what I had hoped at all and no way of being able to get onto the Speed board.

I satyed in for two hours hoping that the wind would fill in but it never happened, I think it has to be spring tides to get a decent run. On a square course my best was 37.47 knots but it was very frustrating.

It is chucking it down cats and dogs now, so was it a good session.

Good parts
Got out with the 6.6, although under powered, need to tune it a bit more.
Sailed 6.6 on the 90 ltr board for the first time, the board felt big with that sail.
It was a square course so times weren't that bad in the end.
Another 2 hours on the water.

Bad parts
I was expecting epic conditions.

The search goes on!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Great SUP session this morning down the coast and back. Lots of Bass and Mollet swimming below, beautiful sunny weather. No surf though. Looks like it will be a good week for sailing with wind on the way for Tuesday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here comes Man Flu

Always at the beginning of summer and the end I get a cold. It is just starting to show the signs of one coming out, full blown man flu by the end of the week I reckon.

Friday, August 12, 2011


When I came out of retirement in 2009 to compete again I bought two Billabong suits, their quality was second to none. Now in 2011 Billabong are supplying me with wetsuits.

I am thrilled that such a massive company as Billabong have shown faith in me and my sailing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Speed session

Good fun speed session at Pembroke Bay as predicted.

Couldn't get on the Starboard Isonic 90 as the wind was way to gusty and light. Opted for the 107 ltr board with Hotsails GPS 8.0m and Black Project 37.5cm fin. It was a lot of fun, top speed of just over 37 knots.

Pierre came down late on in the session and took some pictures which I'll add later.

2.5 hours on the water, the training has paid off.

Next good forecast is for Sunday, no big winds but should be fun again.

July / August

Firstly sorry fro the lack of postings this last month.

Things have been soooo busy. After the Swedish speed event I had a month of hectic work mixed in with a bit of windsurfing. Mid July I noticed my wieght starting to rise and since then I have been training hard, SUP ing and windsurfing, back on track!

It's amazing how fitness can slip over a four week period. Obviously windsurfing is the most important exercise to do but unfortunately Guernsey doesn't get wind every day. I have had some good slalom sessions and tried out sailing the southern end of Vazon in Westerly force 5 on Monday. It looked good from the shore but was way to choppy inside and rough as hell outside, water totally confused with waves jacking up right in front of you. A lot of air time. Still it was a good session with my 8.0m GPS Hotsail and 107 ltr Starboard Isonic.

Today looks like it may happen. We have force 5 SW at the moment with the tide falling. The forcast has the wind at it's strongest from 10am - 1pm and that coincides with low tide. Pembroke Bay low tide and great direction is the venue, just hope the wind picks up a bit.

I hope to use the 8m with my 90 ltr Isonic. This will be the first time I have used this setup.

I blog later to tell you how it has gone.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 2011

For the past month we have had light winds and sunny weather however that all changed yesterday. Force 6 winds, rigged the 7.3m Hot Sails GPS and Isonic 90 ltr / 35cm R Black Project fin combo again. Just such a good set up.

For some reason my GT 31 showed speeds when I was out there but when I checked them that evening the session shows up but no results. A bit of a worry, I wouldn't like that to happen in a contest.

I was consistently showing high end 36 knots during the session but West winds just don't work with speed sailing over here. SE to SW and Pembroke bay at low tide works, NW you have a strip outside of Grande Havre that works on mid to low tide, N is Perrelle Bay at mid to low and E to NE Vazon Bay Low tide but Westerly, get the wave kit out.

Today we have force 5 -6 Westerly with a swell. Wavesailing time!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June Speed Session

Had a good sailing week, two sessions stand out.

Last Saturday I wave sailed Perelle, Perelle is a wave break behind a small island on the west coast of Guernsey. Very intimidating, you sail about a kilometer from your launch spot out into deep water. The break can be big, up to 16' before it closes out. The other problem is that if you wipe out you end up on the rocks, a bit like Hookipa rocks but bigger. That's the bad news, the good news is you can get four great big bottom turns in on glassy waves.

I sailed there for a couple of hours on a very high tide, not as good as I have sailed it but good fun. Came in de-rigged and went down the coast to Vazon Bay for an hour of small waves and some jumps.

Today was speed time. South West wind, forecast at 22 knots. I went out at Pembroke bay with my Hot Sail GPS 7.3m, Starboard Isonic 90 with Black Project R35. What a combo. The wind was too cross shore for great speeds but great for testing the kit. It's the first time I have been out on the Isonic 90 and it didn't disappoint.

Again Guernsey doesn't have a speed strip long enough for good average speeds, you get a max speed and it's time to slow down before the rocks. Top speed 38.76 knots no spin out, sail was light in the hands and as stable as can be. Choppy water again but very pleased with the top speed.

My 2011 equipment is just so good together. It's taken 3 years but I finally feel everything has come together.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sweden 2011

Photos by Lennart Bernfort

The Meteox forecst had been spot on since I arrived in Sweden and Sunday was no exception. The day started with no wind but by 6pm the wind was starting to pick up from the East. Game on, first possible start 6.30 with 50 minute heats, ten minute rest then another two heats.

The rules are that 20% of the fleet have to achieve a run over 28 knots for the leg to count. It was obvious that the first leg wasn't going to count as most times were around 26 knots but a gusty ten minutes that could all change and during round two that is what happened.

Everybody was sailing big kit. The Simmer boys on 8.6m, Maui Sails 8.4m and North Sails 8.6m. I was on my Hot Sails GPS 8.8, Starboard Isonic 127 and 45cm Black Project Fin. Being the heaviest sailor in the pack and sailing around about the same size sail meant I had to use a lot bigger board than the other sailors.

It's difficult to judge how fast you have been sailing compared to the rest of the fleet when being timed on gps. Everyone tells a different story when you ask their speeds, some are telling you max speed, some 10 sec average.

The third leg got started but by that time the wind had died and the leg got cancelled.

Thats the latest I have sailed, by the time I had packed up and got back to the hotel it was past 10pm, quick bite to eat shower and bed. The forecast was a lot better for the next day. No results till the morning so an anxious sleep.

Next morning and I am looking down the Swedish results list and can't find my name, what has happened, has my gps not recorded! Then I realise there is a Swedish ranking and a ranking for the European Tour Swedish speed event. I look down but not too far because I am in 5th place, thank God for that. Although confident you just don't know till the results go up. 5th place in such light conditions is great.

Last day of competition and the wind had been blowing up 25 knots but by the time the course was set up it was back to 12-16 knots. Four rounds were held but in the end only two of them counted. I was on the same kit as the day before although I changed down board size to my Isonic 107 for the last round.

Final results for the three counting rounds were dominated by the Swedish men led by Marcus Richardson. I was the fastest non Swede with a 5th, 4th and 5th place making me 5th overall.

1st Marcus Richardson SWE 30 0.70 2.00 2.00 4.70 4.70 31.589 30.435 30.557
2nd Daniel Borgelind SWE 38 3.00 0.70 3.00 6.70 6.70 31.273 30.654 30.513
3rd Markus Emanuelsson SWE 55 4.00 3.00 0.70 7.70 7.70 30.343 29.712 31.717
4th Anders Björkqvist SWE 877 2.00 6.00 4.00 12.00 12.00 31.317 29.278 30.498
5th MARTYN OGIER K 68 5.00 4.00 5.00 14.00 14.00 29.298 29.615 29.686
6th Torsten Mallon GER 818 6.00 8.00 6.00 20.00 20.00 28.565 27.909 29.650
7th Patrick Van Hoof B 52 8.00 5.00 7.00 20.00 20.00 28.355 29.424 29.335
8th Johan Gelander SWE 51 7.00 7.00 8.00 22.00 22.00 28.530 28.454 29.118

The jump from 2010 gps to 2011 is as extreme as fro 2009 to 2010, really impressive. Chinnook booms and extentions have made a big difference with stiffness and weight savings. We have sails that are now as fast as anything on the market. The Starbaord Isonics boards are fast and really easy to ride and my Black Project Fins are the perfect complement to rig and board.
Altogether it is a great start to the year, the best.
Bring on the next event.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Planes trains and automobiles

Living on Guernsey has its benefits but when you want to get off the island then your troubles begin.

The title should have been planes, trains, automobiles, ferry and more automobiles.

My destination is the European Speed Contest in Sweden. To get there with all my kit in the quickest way possible means shipping my van to England without me so that when I fly out on the Tue morning at 7 am and land at 7.45 I can jump straight into my van and get driving.

The only port in France that has a ferry from Guernsey is St Malo which is great when you’re travelling South but when going North would put another 8 hours drive on my journey.

7.45 Tue and I am in the van and driving towards the channel tunnel. 2.5 hours later I am at the tunnel 10 minutes too late for my train so have to wait an hour for the next available one. 35 minutes later and I am driving off in Calais.

Only 14 hours of driving and a hour ferry crossing to go.

Klagsham Sweden is the destination. On the Baltic sea Klagsham has a nice club house overlooking the bay. It is a shallow bay stretching for miles. It doesn't matter what direction the wind comes from the sea remains relatively flat. South to North Westly winds tends to have a thermal effect increasing the strength. South to East and they say the wind comes through "the trumpet" which accelerates the wind.

The forecast before I left was for wind the day before the contest and the day after. Spot on up to now, beautifully sunny though. The event started on Thursday 2nd June and runs to the 6th. On Friday we were informed at the skippers meeting that the contest was going to move 40 km up the coast were they thought there was a good chance of a Northly thermal wind developing. It was a good call and almost worked out; we got out on the water with big kit however the winds never increased enough to hold a counting round.

Today we have had no wind but 25 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The forecast for tomorrow is Eastly wind at 12 knots; the locals are saying that could increase due to "the trumpet" to 18 knots, game on. Mondays forecast is 18-20 knots South Eastly as with tomorrow that could increase to 25 knots, plenty to have a counting round.

I'll update when I get more news.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Kit

Finally got everything together for some pictures, not great light conditions but there was wind and Pierre had his camera.

Went out on the 6.6 with my Isonic 90. I think I was over excited about strong winds and finally getting out on th 90. As it tunrd out the 7.3 would have been better but I stuck with the 6.6 and moved up to my Isonic 107.

Some ok shots, stickered up.

Off to Sweden on Tue. 7am flight from Guernsey to Southampton, pick up my van which was shipped over on Friday, drive to Folkstone, catch the train through the tunnel, 10.5 hour drive to Ferharn Germany, catch a ferry to Sweden. Not too bad then!!

It has to be this way to cut down on days away. With Guernsey being so small it isn't possible to fly ou with my gear.

The forcast is for good winds up to the event and then nothing during but forcast change all the time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Had my first session on the new gps's yesterday.

8.0m with my Isonic 107 and R375 fin. Great combination, managed just over 36 knots on a very small strip. Vazon bay at high tide left me with 250m of broad reach, on the gt-31 it showed by speed beating into the reach at 22 knots. The exceleration was fantastic up to 36then sheet out before the rocks.

The 2011 sails are more stable than 2010 and noticably quicker, the 2010 are fast already. The fin worked great, no spin out over 6-8" chop, I'd probably go one bigger for slalom.

Next stop is the Swedish Speed Championships 1st - 6th June. Hopefully after that there will be more confirmed news on a World Speed Championships. There is something in the pipeline I have been told.

Really looking forward to competing again with the new sails, they are a big jump again in performance from 2010. New fins, booms and boards have also improved on 2010, figures crossed for the results as well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Nice hour in the water today on my Starboard SUP. 3' reef break, summer suit, and sun out. Feels good.

Monday, April 4, 2011


New sails arrived today from China. They look great, just logo'd up the 8.8 ready for some forcast wind later.

Friday, April 1, 2011


April is here and the sun is out, full on spring time in Guernsey.

My wave gear has been put in the shed, no more play time it's time to get serious.

My new boards arrived this week and my sails are due on Monday. I got out on my Starboard Isonic 127 today, 8.8m Hot sails gps and 45cm Black Project fin. First time out on the 127 and it took some getting used to, wave board last week and big race board this week.

Now till November is speed time, testing, training and competing.

Today was great, sunny and warm. The wind was very gusty offshore 12-14knots but a great learning session. The 45 cm BPF worked great no spin out and when you get the Isonic locked in on a broad reach it rocks. Very fast. I'll use the BPF 47 for more long distance training but for speed the 45 is great.

The Isonic 127 took some getting used to. It's feels very short but I'll soon get used to it.

Sails to start tweaking with in a couple of days. Lots to do and it feels great to be testing full time again.

The Chinook booms make a big difference to the feel of the rig. They lighten up the feel and control.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


New sail stickers hot off the press.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb training

Not as much on the bike as January but more sailing, still on the wave gear at the moment.

170 miles on the bike, 16 miles running and 10 miles swimming. What has stopped me is a throat infection that went on and on. Four days of not being to swallow food or water and a weight loss of 7 pounds, just feeling drained. The unfortunate thing is I came back training too early and as of yesterday my throat is sore again. A huge forward loop in dead onshore winds on Saturday that horribly wrong has seen my right knee swell to the size of a football. Anti inflammatory drugs and rest is called for.

On the up side.

My new Hot Sails GPS's should arrive in the next week, my new Black Project Fins came last week, new Starboard Isonic Speed 53 and slalom 90 the week after next and then it's down to some serious testing with every combination of fin, sail and board. The new Chinnook booms and extensions are fantastic, so light they make a huge difference to the rig feel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Windsurfing European Speed Championship Tour 2011
For 2011 the European Speed Champions will be decided from the results from participating National events.
Criteria for Tour
• Based on the results of accepted European National championships.
• The Male and Female competitors’ tour winners will be crowned the European Champions.
• The best of three results to count for the ranking, if a tie exists, then the riders fastest speed will decide.
• All events to count as a factor of one.
• Additional prize money and timing systems will be used by organisers to encourage higher profile sailors.
• Before an event is accepted as a counting round of the tour the local organiser must agree to accept minimum standards of speed competition.

ET Minimum Standards
 Fixed course over a minimum distance of 250 m with starting gates
 Accurate timing system, Navi GPS and GPS results pro as minimum standard
 Minimum speed of 28 knots achieved at least 3 times by 20% of the whole fleet, to qualify as a counting round.
 Event to run for a minimum of 5 Days on a fixed date
 A minimum of 2 months notice of event with published NOR and confirmation of entry by organisers one month before.
 Competitors have to be fully paid up members of the ISWC to get a European tour championship ranking. This does not exclude them from their National championship as long as they are members of their National association.
 Off shore course wherever possible
 Includes a Junior Fleet where ever possible
 Encourage festival style with clinics etc if possible
The Countries that have agreed so far to the standards and wish to take part are Belgium, Sweden, UK and Germany. Dates and details to follow.
Invitations have been sent to Spain, France, Austria, Holland and Ireland who have shown an interest in being included. European Riders who wish their nation to be included please contact your national speed championship organisers and ask them to contact us.

SUP here we come

Just got my first SUP and can't wait to get in water. Years ago I used to surf and I have always been into wave sailing, SUP seems the logical next step. Guernsey has some great surf breaks, reef breaks that are perfect for SUPing. We also have some huge off shore breaks that I have looked for 20 years and thought about sailing them. The problem with the offshore breaks is that when it is windy enough to sail, being 3 miles off shore without a support boat because its too windy doesn't sound so good. SUPing however is a different story, jump in a rib and shoot out there with the SUP.
I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb wave action

Thanks again to Pierre gsyphoto.com for some great February action

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jan 2011

January over and I've clocked 440 miles on the bike, 26 miles in the pool and 12 miles running and some great wave sailing. Come on February!

Speed Tour 2011

News on the grape vine is that the 2011 Speed European tour has been approved in principle,just the details of the rules to be agreed.

Interested parties are from UK, Belgium, Germany, Spain (Tarifa), Holland, Austria and Sweden.

Fuerteventura is a strong possibility for a World Championships. This will be a stand alone event as a one off world cup.

Another place showing interest is Dakhla in Morocco, possibly for a production worlds.

Obviously all is to be confirmed.

Speed has never looked so good.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jan Waves

It seems we have had one of the best weeks wave sailing for a long time.
Sunday was pumping, sets up to 3/4 mast and light cross offshore winds. For me a little too light, I struggled to get up wind. A bigger wave board would have done it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan Wave Session

Nice wave session yesterday. Small 3' surf breaking on Vazon's centre reef and onshore winds but with a long run into the reef it was a lot of fun. Big stalled forwards were the order of the day. 1 push loop that ended with me putting my elbow through my sail ended the day.

Air and water temp is only 9 degrees but with hood and boots the only cold part is the hands. Half an hour of not being able to feel your hands then they start to warm up again. I have known worse. Deffinately not the weather for slalom cruising though.

My Van is loaded with my wave board and 82 ltr speed board. Either fun in the waves or epic speed. Too cold for anything else.

Friday, January 7, 2011


As of 7th January 2011 I have signed to sail with Chinook booms and extentions.

I am thrilled to be part of such a fantastic brand with a history of making some of the best equipment there is.

Another piece of the jigsaw sorted on the road to World Champion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


2011 is here and I am more eager than ever to get competing. Training has gone to a whole new level, running or biking combined with a 1 mile swim every day. I can feel the swim is making a big diiference already.

Fridays forcast is epic. I'll try and get some pics posted.