Tuesday, April 5, 2016


My windsurfing year so far is a disaster.
When I came back from Namibia (Nov 2015) I went in to the doctor to get checked out. My arm had been put back in place in Namibia after the dislocation but I wanted to be fully checked over here.
The doctor I saw wasn't my GP, he was full, but I have faith in all the doctors so it didn't worry me. He referred me on to get a ultra sound on my ribs to make sure no internal damage was done to my organs when I broke 3 ribs. He also referred me for a cat scan to check that I didn't have any blood clots on my brain after being knocked out.
I asked about my dislocated shoulder and he told me that it was back in place and there isn't much more that can be done. It would be back to normal in 2 months.
Feeling a bit down at this stage I ordered three Goya custom wave boards as a treat for when I'm back on the water (Christmas time)
After Christmas I still couldn't lift my right arm so I booked into my GP. He was in shock that I hadn't had a ultra sound on my shoulder. 4 weeks waiting list for a ultra sound or go private in a week, I went private. The doctor doing the ultra sound could believe I had been left because there was no way the shoulder would repair with so much damage without surgery.
Another week to see a surgeon and another week to get booked in. The hospital theatres were closed for cleaning for February but they put me down as an emergency and in I went.
The operation to re-attach the muscle to the bone usually takes an hour, mine took 2.5 hours. Its the worst one he had ever seen, 7 rivets type things to pin the muscle to the bone and now 6 weeks of my arm in a sling. No driving, no anything with my arm to allow the muscle to adhere again then 6 month of physio.
One more week of the sling then I can start to work on the arm. We are off to Cancun a week on Thursday and that's where I'm planning my come back training.
I'm hoping to be back fit for Weymouth speed week this year. Have the summer on big kit slalom training and the odd wave session. No full out speed for a year or so though.
My gps recorded my crash a 51 knots. The ribs and shoulder were injured hitting the water. It's very dangerous!
Before I went I reckoned that someone could kill themselves on the speed strip, I realise now that the someone would be me. I can't tell you how off the scale the conditions were. You had (can't say any names) ex world champions too scared to run the course at the time I crashed. Later it died a bit and most had a run or two.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer waves

Nice couple of days in small surf at Pembroke Bay Guernsey. on-shore winds and 3' surf

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I recently got asked to answer some questions on fin design. Hope it helps.

Apart from the obvious objective of ‘speed’, what tributes make a good speed fin?
Grip, you will never achieve fast speeds unless you have confindence that your fin won't spin out. Even more important then a fast fin.
Asymmetric or symmetrical - which is best?
Depends how many directions you want to sail.
You have two ranges of speed fins within Black Project, why is this?  
Ultimate speed on one tack. Ultimate speed on both tacks in all sea conditions
Do different weights of riders need different styles of fin, or just a different sizes?
Style of sailor would depict what fin size he would use. I am 115kg and have used smaller fins that someone 95kg on the same day. Board choice / width would make a difference but again I have used bigger board smaller fin than lighter guys.
Do different styles of fin work better with different boards and rigs, or is a good fin, simply a good fin?
Most definitely board to fin, not so much sail size. A good design is a good design in a number of sizes.
We were using 22cm fins quite comfortably with 6.4m sails for speed course use, what would be the ideal fin size for 5.5m record breaking conditions?
Board size will make the difference. In Luderitz I will use the same size fin for my 5.4, 5.8 and 6.4 if using the same board. The board is still going over the same water conditions. (6" chop in Luderitz. It's not flat water like everyone thinks)
Is fin flex important?  And if so, should we be looking for soft or stiff?
Stiff stiff stiff, in fast conditions a flexible fin is seriously dangerous.
What are the fundamental differences between a speed fin and a slalom fin?
A slalom fin will always be better at getting you upwind and onto the plane quicker. Speed is for downwind
Carbon vs G10, which is best?
A good G10 fin is as good as Carbon 
The base of the speed fins are quite short compared to the length of the box, which gives you range for positioning (forward and back within the box when shaping)….how do you decide upon this or do you just mould the fin into the middle of the box and let the board designer worry about that?
The board designer will be placing the box for the centre of effort of the fin to be in the middle of the box

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weymouth NWF speed event

Challenging conditions at the NWF speed event. Stacked on 7m Evo and Patrik 110 yesterday in 3' chop. Then an explosion that ripped my sail in two. Big thanks to Moatt sails​ for repairing the sail within 1 hour of receiving it.

The rest of the day was on 7.8m Evo and Patrik 110, the wind had died a bit by the time I had got out on the course but quite happy with a 7th, a 100 ltr board would have been easier to handle through the chop.

Very close racing between the whole fleet. Today was 8.6 Evo and Patrik 135, should of taken the 9.6. Ended with a fourth today and 4th overall for the event. It has been my first time sailing on the Evo 7's and the first time on slalom and cambered sails since November. It took a bit of getting used to but very pleased with the way everything is working. Carrying a bit too much timber at the moment but as usual that's a work in progress.

Great event and what speed is all about. sometimes speed can come across as too elitist and that is not whites about. Speed has always been about all ages and abilities chasing their personal goals. Hats off to Alan Cross for seeing this and promoting speed.

The whole event has done what i wanted it to do for me, i have learnt a lot about the sails and fin / board combinations that i wouldn't have learnt free sailing in Guernsey. Now it's done to water time in Guernsey preparing for the next adventure.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Just finished numbering up the new race kit.

Only one side this year, almost every speed strip I can think of is Starboard tack.

Wave gear has been taken out of the van and now it is time to concentrate on speed.

Big slalom sessions planned up and down the coast for training and the odd speed session when conditions arise. (not that often in Guernsey)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Speed board volume

Interesting findings today when I measured the volume of my 43 and 41cm speed boards. Always wondered how big my custom Patrik Diethelm​ 41 was compared to the Patrik production 43.

The 41 is 233cm long compared to the 43 which is 228cm.

I haven't used the 41cm in Luderitz during the past two years because the wind hasn't been great and I have been on the "bigger" 43cm.

Bigger turns out not to be entirely true. I constructed a plywood box 2.445m x 60cm x 14cm, filled it up and then pushed my speed boards under the water. The amount of water they displaced then tells me their volume.

The 43cm, to my workings, displaced 54 litres of water and the 41 displaced 58 litres.