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!!