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.