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.

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