Here is an article by the young man himself, he talks about his journey into the Speedsurfing world from his first few sessions until recently when he went on to gain his first 40knot average and also achieve the Australian record for an Alpha. I think the Hour speed he managed is just as much of an achievement as well, read on for the details.
1. Have at least one other sailing buddy around your age, this will help you push one another and you will progress a lot quicker.
Hi my name is Izaak Perkins, I am 17 years of age and from Tasmania, Australia. I started windsurfing when I was 10 with two of my mates, who both came from family’s that windsurfed, James Brient and Jordan Murray. The three of us pushed each other to out-do one another and it was a challenge to see who could do what first, like getting in the foot straps, on the plane etc.
My dad, Anthony Perkins was and is still heavily into slalom/speed sailing and he was very keen to get me going. It wasn’t long until I was on the plane and getting into the foot straps and harness. Luckily enough we had a starboard start kit and this made a huge difference in getting the basics down pat before I changed to some free race gear. I put on a GPS around the age of 12 and was using a 4.7m 1cam sail and a big light weight board. I was gradually getting faster and faster and as soon as I hit 25knots speed, I borrowed a Hypersonic and straight away I hit 28knots. After that day I saved hard to buy a brand new Hypersonic. I was also given a 5.5m sail from my Nan and Pop for Christmas and I was over the moon.
Shortly after this, I started to use my dad’s old slalom speed sails and it was not long until I owned a 5.3 and 5.8. I then sold my Hypersonic and got dad’s Falcon 91L board this was my favourite board. I broke the 30knot barrier on this and was getting some magic numbers for my age at the time.
After many different sails I ended up with a 5.0, 5.8 and a 6.3m, along with a few fins and the 91L board. This was my kit for the next 2years (I was 14 to nearly 16yrs). I was given a Speed board for my 14th birthday and I went on to do 38knots just before I was 16yrs. In 2009 I joined the Tassie Speed Seekers on the GPS Team Challenge website. The site came just at the right time as I was able to push myself even more and work my way up through the rankings.
My first windsurfing trip was to Sandy point in Victoria in 2009 we nearly sailed every day of that week and was unlucky to break a mast missing most of the best day. I still walked away with a few PB’s from the week I was there. We then returned in 2010 to see some unbelievable numbers and I was in shock from the amount of wind (60+knots at times). If you have seen the video “Quickly Go Mad” that is me holding the wind gauge in that amount of wind.
Before the 2010 Sandy Point, I was offered to join SHQ Boardsports as a team rider for Neilpryde and JP-Australia. I finally broke the 40knot barrier, but unfortunately once downloaded it fell back to 39.9. This was down at one of our best runs in Tasmania called Henty River in not ideal conditions. It was snowing and the river was flooding. I had numerous times where I hit 40knots at several locations but all dropping below to 39.9.
After five times of this, enough was enough. I read many reviews on going fast, tried many different setups, and with massive help from dad, when we head out speed sailing I finally did it!!!. On January 2011 we were at Stanley on the North West coast of Tasmania. Forecast was a solid 30-40knots all day and low tide for most of the day. First run I managed a 39.9 and I knew straight away this was going to be a good day. I hit a 40.9 later in the day and my speed continued to climb all day. The last 2hours of the session were unreal. There was a slight wind shift in that time and the wall of wind was still a steady 35knots. My speeds were still climbing 41,41.5,41.7 etc. I then over took dad with a 42.6 giving me the outright Tassie speed record. This over took dad that day that had got the Tassie record that day.. My mates James and Jordan were flying that day too. James on a 40 and Jordan a 39. James asked what I speed I had and he said, “well, you may as well go and do a 43!” Straight away I left and headed off down the run to do a 43.1!!. I arrived back to the top of the run and had a big smile on my face. I remember the look on Kaleb’s face ( another great Tassie windsurfer), when I told him and then he said “well you may was well to a 44”. Dad was in shock as I just kept going and going. As soon as Kaleb said “you will probably do a 44 next,” weirdly enough , I did with a 44.01 on the dial!! I will never forget that day as it was the first time I broke 40 and I went over 40, 50 times that day!!.
After this day, I was offered to ride on the International team for C3 Performance Fins and am looking for the wind to reach my future goals. I couldn’t be happier with my current sponsors. The last four years I have been doing very well in the Tassie Slalom championships . I enjoy it a lot. This has been great training for what I plan to do in the next couple of years.
Dad and I have just returned from a road trip over to Western Australia for the Ledge to Lancelin race. I came 45th out of 200+ competitors. I was quite happy with that as I was on gear I had borrowed, as it was very light winds, and I wasn’t very used to the gear; making it a hard slog the whole way.
The day after was the slalom and I wanted to go well in that as I was” bummed” I missed out on a podium in the marathon for the juniors. Here I managed to give the top guns a run for their money finishing just behind Jesper Orth and Chris Lockwood a few times. I ended up taking out the juniors and made finals in the slalom.
On the way home we had a few dramas along the way but that’s a story for next time. Anyway we ended up at Lake George in South Australia for a few days where we were given the opportunity to walk away with some PB’s. At the end of the three days (spaced out over a week) I ended up with four personal best’s which I had been focusing on in the past year. The focus was on a good 5x10sec average, 1hour, Alpha 500m and a Nautical mile. My best results were 2sec-43.28, 5x10sec av-40.53(PB), 1hour-27.34(PB), Alpha Racing 500m-28.78(PB) an Australian record, Nautical mile-37.66(PB) and distance traveled of 140KM. So it has been a great start to the year of 2012.
My goals for the next year or so are to break 45knots, beat dad and compete in the New Zealand Slalom Nationals in 2013. I want to land a few more back loops and land a front loop in the wave sailing I do. Hopefully I can get back to Lake George later in the year too.
Three tips for people getting into the sport are;
2. Ask and look at what the top riders are doing because they will guide you on the right path. But don’t copy what they are doing for example, rigging the same size sail as a big guy as you may go back a step in you performance.
3. Experimenting with rigging and tuning to get the most out of your gear is always very helpful but only change small things at a time.
Special thanks goes to:
Mum and Dad as my sponsors for many years
C3 Performance Fins
Thank you for this Izaak and huge congratulations on your achievements so far, long may these continue. From the looks of it you will be one to watch for in terms of records in the future. I am pretty sure Jacques and the rest of the top 10 in the fun rankings will welcome you with open arms very soon. 'the Bus'.