Thursday 2 February 2012

News from January 2012

GPS Team Challenge Updates
The GPS Team Challenge in the Northern Hemisphere ended with some great peak and 5x10 average  results for the Portland Pirates but alas only mediocre scores in the other categories. The wind either only came in the week when most were working, or blew through far too strong for hour and nautical mile attempts. I cannot speak for the other teams around Western Europe but would expect they suffered a similar fate. One team as usual, dominated the scoreboard with fantastic results all round. The winners of the 2011 series - The Grevelingen Chop Team. Hot on their heels this month in the top speed categories were the West Kirby Warriors, they seem to have a few very big hitters in their team with Steve Thorp and Farrel OShea and are getting more organised to give the Portland Pirates more competition. Steve as you all know scored a secure 50knot+ peak, and was even gracious enough to post his lower scoring GPS result.

This does not beat the achievements by the Grevelingen Chop Team though, with an average from 2 sailors (Jacques and Hans) achieving a massive 50.07 2second peak and 46.48knots 5x10second average. That one session really raised a lot of peoples confidence to go over 50knots, see the GPS Speedsailing part of the news later.

In the Southern Hemisphere in Australia it was the January Cup which on all accounts was a closely fought battle, and only the peaks scored at West Kirby by the Dutch and British kept the SA Speed Demons from the top spot for the month. The SA Speed Demons, The Pit Crew and the Tassie Speed Seekers were all very close for the month with some fantastic sessions and great scores all round. It looks like this year will be a very closely fought battle both internationally and in the land that spawned the GPS Team Challenge.

More news on the day the GPS Records were Smashed
Zara Davis, the current womens world record holder excelled herself to score a first 40knot average in the history of Womens Speedsurfing, with an absolutely fantastic session up at West Kirby on the 21st January 2012. This has really brought womens speedsurfing a lot closer to the mens and sets the standard for women in the sport. With this achievement she hopes more women will join her to close the gap even more. Here is a great video produced by Pete Davis, and filmed by Alan Jones.

The GPS Speedsurfing Rankings
Recently a touch of controversy and discussion happened on the GPS Speedsurfing website. I think in the long run this will have been very good for the site as they have recognised a need to communicate more openly with us as their customers. I know many people who's lives have been changed by the site, and now push themselves incredibly hard to achieve world beating speeds. This has only been become possible for the everyday windsurfer due to the efforts by Martin Van Meurs and his close team. The passion involved by many of the participants is clear from some of the threads in the forum. The friendships built around the world due to this site, (probably with help from 'stalkerbook' but I hate to say it) is clear to see with quite a close knit but very big group of windsurfers in the Speed Scene.

The rankings for the month have been astounding, with GPS records by several windsurfers, the top accolade being taken by Jacques van de Hout, closely followed by his good friends and team mates; Hans Kresiel, and Jurjen van de Noord. It will take a lot this year to beat these scores, but they have proven along with Steve Thorp that 50knots is achievable and 2012 looks to be the year for Speedsurfing.

Maybe the newly announced gathering at Luderitz in Nambia can challenge the current GPS rankings if the pros choose to compete with the amateurs at a GPS level as well as the traditional format. It would be a great thing for the sport if they will, both showing how much commitment the top amateurs put in and also the level that the pros ride at every PWA. Once I know more I will post it here, at present it is only what I have picked up from several forums. 

Whatever the outcome 2012 has happened with a bang, once this high over Europe passes I am sure it will continue, I know I need it to as I am climbing the walls at the moment with a full 7 days since my last session. On a personal note I would like to thank everyone who has helped made this website as successful as it now is, in January I had 20,900 visits in total, most of which I know are genuine hits with only a few from Romanian property site (not quite sure about how that happens?!). This has been a great thing for me as it coincides with my first month as a sponsored windsurfer, please visit the link over to the right of this report. 

To give you an idea of the hidden popularity of the sport, the recent Boards article about Steve Thorp had more hits in the week it was published that nearly all the other articles put together. This shows the potential size of this side of windsurfing, there are many out there that want to have a go on their freeride and wave kit so a small team of us are putting together something new to give them a helping hand, we hope to have something to show by the end of March, register your interest over on just below the video of the week.

We also have some youths coming through at different levels, they have done articles about their progress. Izaak Perkins writes about his progress up to being the fastest Alpha rider in Australia, and Tom Wells talks about his first steps into Slalom and starting with a GPS. Both are great articles by speedsurfers that must be at least half the age of most people who read this, very interesting perspectives and well worth a read if you haven't already.

Good speeds and winds, and thoughts are going out to readers and friends over in Croatia and mid Europe which is suffering a big freeze at the moment.
'The Bus'

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