Friday 16 September 2011

Mid September Ranking for GPS Team Challenge

This month I think is worthy of a quick round up now. Up here in the northern hemisphere anywhere near the Atlantic has recently enjoyed the tail end of two hurricanes. The first, Irene was a sad event for some windsurfers as we lost an ambassador to the sport, Joe Rocco. Joe sailed at Long Island in the USA and had many friends who windsurf and was on all accounts a well loved character. They will hopefully name the beach he sailed from after him as a memorial. Our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.

As the hurricane moved up their east coast it sent us great winds in perfect directions for the UK. This allowed the Portland Pirates to take a good lead in the first few days of the month, with great performances from the Matrix and El Reg who managed an hour average each of just under 25knots. Now to some this may not sound much but Portland Harbour is a tricky spot for good Nautical Miles and Hours, either end can have holes in the the wind on a gale force day, and the chop is terrible if you venture more than 100yards off the shore, which is often necessary due to how shallow it is. This means that one tack is under a Nautical Mile and many gybes are required.

Ian Richards 'Warming up' at West Kirby
Other UK teams also put in a good performance, notably Team East had the fortune of a new member, the Great White himself. Ex production world speedsailing champion Dave White joined the team and put in a 43knot 2sec, 42 knot average (not bad consistency there from the newcomer!) and a Nautical Mile of nearly 37knots. I am sure they are grateful of his input and I have overheard(?) them on the internet commenting that they can close the gap on us Pirates. It seemed so, but our big hitter Ian Richards delivered at the same spot as Team East, Southends - 'The Ray' with a 45knot peak, and 40knot average. Backed up by Ian Crossley with El Reg close behind we managed to take the lead for most categories with some decisive scores.

 Late Edit - I want to make sure you all understand that I am not bragging here about the team I am part of, the Portland Pirates, I am proud of their performance this month. Some of the members are very modest about their skills and I think sometimes they need a bit of praise and recognition. It really is not often we are in the lead, we are usually around 4th-6th if we get a good month of wind with a weekend day for distance. What will happen by the end of this weekend (17/18th Sept) is we will probably be knocked well and truly off the top spot with yet another unsurpassable performance by a few of the Dutch Sailors and no doubt our friends from 'down under'. 

Then the tail end of hurricane Katia struck. Most of the best speed surfers went to the legendary West Kirby and many personal bests were had, even though the direction was not perfect for the spot. A big congratulations must go to Will Giles, an 18year old who managed a peak of 38.68 knots. This makes him one of the top young speedsurfers in the world and the 5th fastest under 19 of all time. He does need a new boom now after a bad crash, perhaps if we could do a poll on here to persuade his dad to buy him one. Tristan Haskins had a great session and destroyed his personal best by almost 5 knots, just falling short of the cherished 40knot average. Well done to all who had a blinder that day.

Our friends across the North sea appear to have had a reasonable amount of wind as well. Hans Kreisel managed an astounding peak of 49.36knots at 'The Brace', coming so close to the new holy grail of speedsurfing of 50knots. This gives him the National Record, which is yet to be verified. With Jacques van de Hout backing him up we have a near impossible task to catch them in these categories now. The Grevelingen Chop Team have a 2 sec of 48.5 knots and an average of 45knots. It isn't completely impossible but very unlikely that anyone will beat this anywhere in the UK. Patrik Miller has done an article on Erik Loots Speedsurfing Blog.

On a side note Jacques van de Hout managed a 29.43 knot Alpha, which I think is unreal, I am still trying for 20knots and keep getting so very close. To put this in perspective we were graced by a well known Starboard sponsored speedsurfer at Portland Harbour early this month, whose vmax was less than that Alpha in very similar wind strengths.

There are more great days of wind due this weekend. Good speed everybody.

By 'The Bus'

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