Saturday 13 October 2012

Weymouth Speed Week Results - Portland Local Biased Reporting ;-)

It was a very frustrating week for myself, at work I have a row of trees right outside my window which taunt me with every rustle of every leaf. For most of the week though they behaved which was unfortunate for most of the competitors. Over the first weekend there were some marginal planing winds from the east, this is onshore at Portland Harbour. With marginal winds though there is not much swell or chop to contend with, it was a great weekend for the Youth class. 

Ben Marshall, Kate Strange, Tom Wells (Left to Right)

Young Portland Pirate Tom Wells had a great result with a second place, just losing out to Kate Strange. All the Youths showed remarkable skill and commitment, and will be names to watch in the next few years. Another name of note is Jack Chadaj, who is out on the harbour more than most with some great tuition from his dad Jan. 

Well done to al the Youth Fleet, long may your windsurfing careers last and best of luck for the future. Without you our sport will slowly decline, it will not as long as we have dedicated youngsters and even more dedicated parents who sacrifice a lot to allow them to windsurf.

To the right you can see the results for the Amateur and First Time categories. These I have included together as most people who enter the First Time category are far from amateurs. I am really pleased to see Gordon Roach in the top 3 for Amateurs. Gordon is a good friend, we shared the experience of watching Nick Dempseys medal race in the summer on the rocks in front of the Nothe, along with the 'after party' which ended with the fore mentioned Silver Medallist getting quite a hangover the next day.  

Also I would like to congratulate Chris Bates for his first time performance, I do hope he comes back down to Portland for a few sessions in better winds to see what chop really is. Being a West Kirby speedie he is a first timer to chop ;-) 

The winds through the week were just enough sessions most days, early in the week they continued to come from the East, with stronger winds than the weekend. These were still quite marginal winds but the top guys managed over 30knot averages on the course which is remarkable considering the chop it creates. Up until the final day Ant Baker was in the lead for the Pro Fleet, then seasoned speedie Bob Cunningham came to take the Pro top place from him with a great run. Bob is still sat comfortably at the top of Normskis Longboard Ladder with a 32.75knot peak on a board nearly 4m long! This still goes to show he is still one of the best in the world.

What is remarkable is none of the Pro's are in the top positions for the overall results. Daniel Borgelind took the top place overall from Wednesday and held onto it on the final day when it was the best wind direction, but not the most consistent of wind. All day I was at work looking at the Harbour Anemometer which was showing 20knots (14ish at water level). When I arrived after work I was told that was not the reality, there was one squall that came through which gave these results, with most of the other results in the day in the upper 20's.  Every competitor deserves a mention, as everyone did well in light winds which require a refined skill to keep the power on without the consistent winds.

Camera shy as always, Steve rarely shows off while windsurfing.
Finally I want to dedicate this whole article to Stephen Corps, a Portland Pirate who was going to be demoted to the 'B-Team' due to his lack of effort considering his ability. In recent months though he has put some real effort in, he has found the love for cruising with big kit rather than only ever appearing at the waters edge with his 74l Manta . This often resulted in him standing waist deep on his slowly sinking board waiting for a gust to get him going in the middle of the harbour. He is a well known windsurfer, with huge ability in all disciplines. Most disciplines he does now on his slalom kit, while we struggle upwind in gale force 8+ he cruises upwind doing massive jumps every now and then with a quick slam gybe at the end to lose as little ground as possible (this is the reason he gives although we know its for the wow factor). 

Two weeks ago he took the much coveted (between us locals) Portland Nautical Mile record with a storming average of 31.24 knots. This is no easy feat at Portland as the wind funnels between the land masses, which usually means you can find a good 1000m but one end can be quite light winds. He deserves the title of Fastest British Competitor at Weymouth Speed Week.

Well done Steve, I am looking forward to our next mini competition even more now ;-)

Good Speeds and Winds
The Bus

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