Tuesday 3 January 2012

50knot Barrier Destroyed by more than 1

The view from Portland Bill across Weymouth Bay
So far this seems to be a great year for windsurfing, with sessions every day so far for many. It was only the brave who dared get wet today though, with violent winds hitting the UK from Cornwall up to Northern Scotland.

For a few days previous it looked like West Kirby would fire up again, and this time it did not look too broad. In fact the forecast was promising an almost perfect direction.

It came! The Dutch also came to give us another lesson in speedsurfing!

Smiling for the camera at 45knots takes a certain degree of skill
Man of the day again goes to our own Steve Thorp, with a phenomenal 51.94 2 second peak, and a reported 54knots on one GPS. The rules state that 2 must be worn and the average taken for record attempts, Steves other GPS showed a peak of 50.6. Either one is clearly above the 50knot barrier and shows the amazing skill he has coupled with the huge balls of steel! 

Steve commented this on GPS-speedsurfing.com

Well an epic days sailing, perhaps a 1 in 10 year session, pb's all round and the kind of day we dream of.. 
I actually had the dream run for a change, I saw a big increase in the wind strength combined with a swing in angle to broader, entered the run with almost too much power for the 5m, just as things were equalising I got hit by a mega gust and bore off even further. Without question in my mind the fastest I've ever been. So when I saw the 54 I actually started to think it was possible. I might be average on getting 10 second times but when it comes to bearing off in the gusts and dealing with the chop I'm right up there, and this was the best day ever for it. 

Next in the list, or even equal are Jacques Van De Hout, Hans Kreisel and Jurjen van de Noord for their efforts and some of the best 5 x 10 second averages ever recorded in the world, possibly THE best from Europe. Full results are not posted yet so this is what Jacques had to say about the day.

Jacques van de Hout looking no more stressed than me sat on a sofa!
"We hit the water at 9.30, after half an hour of sailing i had already a 84km/h average, Hans peaked 51 knots and Jurjen was really flying and improving his speeds every run. Hans averages were very good already in the beginning, I could live with the fact he would beat me today so I just sailed along the wall without taking to much risk of slingshotting, my runs were 85,6 all the time. I noticed that now I'm getting older I don't want to take big risk anymore by sailing on the edge, all ok but if you want to battle for the top spots you just have to take more risk and have bigger balls."

Jurjen van de Noord heading towards a possible European record

"Hans made a big crash due to something he hit in the water, so his session was finished. As I lost all my energy so I decided to have break to load the batteries. Jurjen was flying and must have had duracell batteries as he was going up and down many times. After a while he came over and ask for a computer to check his averages. 86,16km/h! Wow, big respect for his average, the fastest GPS session ever sailed in Europe i guess. "

Hans Kreisel sailing a board in one piece,
beating his good friend Jacques

"Thanks to his numbers my motivation came back and i had to take more risk to beat the average of Jurjen. This time i was slingshotting myself more downwind and this resulted in 2 peaks of 49 knots and better averages. Back on the carpark we checked my average on the computer and this was still not enough, 86,05km/h. So i had to make one more good run. It looked like the wind dropped so i was dissapointed and waited for some better gusts. I get a bonus and made my fastest run of the day with a max peak of 50,035 knots! Yess."

Hans with a new two piece board, I can recommend an Exocet to
replace that Hans ;-)

"This was the best i could do today. It was very close and we are all winners by sailing personal bests on both top speed and average. "

Pete Young testing his new Black Project type X 45 assy fin.
With it he got a PB of over 48knots

Another great result for the day comes from Pete 'The Matrix' Young who was ranked as 10th in the world by GPS Team Challenge for his selfless efforts to get the 'Portland Pirates' to 4th place overall in 2011. He was out on his new Black Project Type X 45knot Starboard Asymmetric, I can't wait to find out what the fin was like as I want one myself.

Pete had this to say about the day;
Great day at West Kirby, proper windy and should have used 5.2m a lot earlier, it wasnt until my 5.7 blew out of my hands and across the lake that i realised I need to change down NOW, i'll just put it down to inexperiance with the speed kit.  Just missed a 45 ave maybe next time LOL. 

PB 48.05 1 sec which was nice, but to go any quicker i think it could be time for a smaller board for my once or twice a year road trip. 
Anyway it was fantastic to sail along with a few of the best speed sailors in the world, cheers guys it was great to be there.

Tris Haskins, GPS-speed.co.uk supplier of GT31's hammering down
the wall testing his own products and no doubt gaining PB's
(Hurry up and post your results ;-)
 All in all it looks to be one of the best starts to a year that any windsurfer could dream of. On top of West Kirby firing there were more good results from other speed strips around the UK and wider. 

The Ray at Southend had some reasonable results with more to be posted soon, but it was not a perfect angle on all accounts. Kingsbridge Estuary saw Paul Simmons from Tushingham chasing 40knots and getting very close to it. Further South in Cornwall was Adam Gustafsson on his home waters of Stihians lake, he managed a peak of 35knots, which is amazing on inland waters with the choppy gusty conditions there. 

The Ghosts of Speed documentary seems to be coming along nicely. We have had great winds since Jeffery Leeflang and Angelo Pecere announced they were going to make a film. They were at Strand Horst today where so far 37 speedies have posted and 18 have peaks over 40knots. They put our Ultimate Speed Meetings to shame with so many taking part, and it isn't just because the cameras were rolling. There was a session last year with nearly 100 attending. Mark van Osch has his own reports on his Windsurfing.nl website

Finally a video of the day at West Kirby, I am sure there will be more to come as well.

Congratulations to all who braved the conditions today, your PB's were well deserved and if you were just short then I am sure 2012 will provide the conditions required. I will do a quick update tomorrow once all results are in. Thank you again to Alan Jones for taking the pictures, without them these articles would not be half as successful.

Good Speed and Winds, and a Happy new year.
'The Bus'

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