An Unexpected Wind

I wasn’t expecting any wind this weekend really, so I went for a little run in the morning – more on ‘why’ I did this in a forthcoming post! I then went for a little cycle around Ynyslas with Morgan and after lunch Anna and Morgan fell asleep on the sofa’s and I was surprised to see the plants moving in the garden as a nice NW wind filled in.

I wandered across to the beach to see a few kite-surfers out and winds around the 20 knot mark. I soon headed back, got my kit and went for a windsurf. It was never going to be an epic session as the waves were small, the sea a little choppy and the wind wasn’t howling. I went out on my Starboard S-Type 104 board with a 5.6m wave sail. I still haven’t had chance to try my new speed kit out and this combination of kit and conditions was never going to get me close to my ‘Life Begins at 40 knots‘ target, but it should have been a good mixture between easy sailing and speed. In fact perfect for the conditions.

GPS Track from windsurf session

I then spent the next hour blasting around and having a nice cruise on the sea. The maximum speed recorded on my GPS was 24.7 knots. Not bad for open-sea sailing. I’ve since downloaded the GPS track to my computer and have used various software to analyse it so as to see how each one works and how accurate they all are.

The actual GPS had a maximum speed on the screen of 24.7 knots.

In Ascent (my usual application for MTBing etc) the maximum speed was also 24.7 knots.

GPS-Results, which is the official application used by the GPS-Speedsailing community showed a few peaks where the satellite reception must have been lacking. These included five points above 100 knots which are obviously incorrect data points, one point at 37.85 knots (if only that were true!) and one at 25.22 knots. It has a feature that strips these points out for you. Once it had stripped out the spikes it too showed a maximum speed of 24.74 knots.

I uploaded this to the GPS-Speed sailing site. The speed given for your session here is an average of your 5 fastest 10 second averages. Mine comes out at 23.3 knots for this session with a maximum 2 second speed of 24.65 knots. You can see the session details here: http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/?mnu=user&val=57475&uid=2072.

I then also uploaded it to Sports Track Live (Click here to see it). This also automatically strips out spikes for you, but didn’t do quite such a good job. It removed the points that had speed in excess of 100 knots, but kept the 37.85 and 25.54 knot readings, so showed my top speed to be 37.85 knots. If I look at the trace from the GPS on Sports Track Live it shows that these two points were in fact just data recording errors as they were off the line I would have been sailing on. So, although its nice to look at Sports Track Live doesn’t do such a good job of removing the spikes as the others.

It was however quite reassuring to see that the others all pretty much agreed this time with a top speed of 24.74 knots, a total distance of 14.78 nm (17 miles). It may not have been a proper speed session, but it is all good practice for when the real wind arrives.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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