Sunday, 22 January 2012

Jim Crossley flies at West Kirby

Another great January day, this time a few Portland Pirates team mates win the honour of sailors of the day.
 Produced by Alan Jones
Edited by Chris Bates
Directed by a good WNW Wind
Screenshot from

Jim Crossley missed out on the epic record breaking session from January 3rd, only a couple of weeks away. It was a day where many people thought they had done speeds that would not be beaten for a long time. The GPS Team Challenge works on a best 2 average system, we scored a 44.58knots 10second average from big hitters Pete Young and Ian Richards. We did not think that would be beaten this year, then Jim came along and proved us wrong. Now the average that counts on the challenge is 44.7knots. To put this in perspective only a couple of years ago that would have topped the all time best ever 5x10second results.

Man of the day has to go to Jim with his 45.08knot 5x10second average, which is just below a national record for the UK (unofficial records but we know who has it at the moment). It was only 15months ago that I started regularly reading and watching the speedsurfing results and noticed Jim was getting better every session, and each visit to West Kirby was giving him PB's. 

Jim sails for PuraVida Boardriders (fantastic shop with great customer service from Jim Brooks-Dowsett) on Fanatic Boards and North Sails, but obviously true speed kit is not available off a production run so last year he went for a new custom board.

Many watched with eager anticipation when he posted the pictures of his new custom speedboard from MOO (who definitely are now dominating the top speeds in the UK, watch this space soon for an interview with Jon, the shaper behind MOO). Jim posted them from birth to this final finished picture, I know I would (will!) be the same when I finally get that far down the speed journey.

Jim had this to say about the session.
Finally got over the fact that I missed the WK session on the 3rd Jan after this classic session.  PB Max and average!  Totally stoked!  Kit felt great today...the moo just cruzes over the chop and the north felt solid and changed to the upper clew position for extra power.

Second man of the day goes to Ian Richards for his astounding 47.59 2sec peak. Ian travels miles for his fix, he gets up to WK nearly every time it goes off, and over the past year has really improved his scores. This was done on production kit as well, a Fanatic Falcon speed and NP RS6 sail, both from 2006. I think that is proof that after the big leap forward in kit design early in the 'noughties' the designers have reached a plateau where it is difficult to improve performance, apart from Hot Sails Maui and Exocet of course ;-) 
Ian commented;
fun session at da kirb again, some small pbs on av and max 2sec. Not super windy but very constant conditions and perfect angle arond 280 285. I was struggling to finish off my 10 secs in the chop a few close wipeouts.

Without a doubt at this level of sailing it is at least 95% rider ability, take for example David Williams, the current UK Kite Speed record holder and the outright UK Speedsailing record holder. I know this is something that means a lot to him and is one hell of an achievement when you consider the scene is largely dominated by people a lot older than he is. The Jan 3rd session at WK saw him using a wave sail and getting very respectable results with peaks above 40 and averages very close. I believe was only the second time on windsurf kit for him in quite a few years. This time he got his 40average which is the benchmark I am yet to achieve. Dave is hopefully seeing the light now and joining the ranks for windsurfing more regularly, it is a shame that the kite side of the sport is not very popular yet in the UK. He commented;
The rolling chop further down the course, making 10second runs dangerous
at the end.
Another good day if a little dissapointed about not going faster but at least im starting to feel like im a little bit in control some of the time. 
Another big thank you to the crew for the help and advise and making a retard in shorts feel so welcome :-)
Couple of the day goes to Pete and Zara Davis with excellent results and a few PB's, Zara said;
Great day for me new PB and putting womens GPS speedsailing on the map!
Just like that ;-)

A huge congratulations goes to Jon White, my Hot Sails team mate who only recently came over to speed surfing from longboard racing. Jon was very successful on the race scene and it is clear why, he has taken to speed surfing like a Tommy Copper to a Fez (sorry Jon couldn't resist)

Jon smashed his previous PB with a peak of 42.92 knots, but unfortunately missed out on the ultimate prize of a 40knot average, next time Jon I am sure. Jon said;
I'm one happy boy!  Thank you so much to Chris Bates for letting me use his Thommen and Alistair for letting me use his 8kg weight jacket!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The jacket made the biggest difference so I guess I really do need to eat more pies.
Jon was using the best looking and high performing sails, HOT Sails Grand Prix Slalom (GPS!) on a borrowed speed board with a Black Project 25.6cm Type S speed fin, the perfect fin for rolling swell and choppy speed runs off the wind.

Photos Provided by Jon White (Thanks Jon, Taken by Karen McBarrens)
Good Speeds and winds to all,
'The Bus'

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