Speed Session Round Two

After my early morning speed windsurfing session, the wind eased off and when Steve first turned up there was barely any wind at all. So, we had a cuppa then headed down to the beach just as the wind went ballistic.

Impi and AndyW were there too. Andy had already been out as had Dave and Sarah who were just getting off the water. There were plenty of kitesurfers out too, one of whom was carted off to Bronglais Hospital in an ambulance after getting slammed into the back of ┬áDaz’s Van.

Impi was in the process of rigging a 6.4 but started looking worried when I said I was going out on a 5.2 and AndyW was changing down from a 5.3 to a 4.5m. As we stood contemplating what kit to use, the wind continued to pick up. My Anemometer was reading 40 knots with a few bigger gusts and Spooker said his recorded a 50 knot gust. This was on the beach and there was much more wind on the water.

The kitesurfers all disappeared, leaving just Impi, Steve, Andy and myself to brave the mad winds. Impi and Andy headed out and struggled for a while. Steve followed them with a 4m sail while I watched, with what now looked like a far too big 5.2m sail rigged. I’m quite a lot lighter than Andy, Steve and Impi and I’m usually on smaller kit than them, so going out in such mad winds on a sail than was 1.2m bigger than what Steve was on was a little worrying. This wasn’t helped by the fact that Steve was having trouble just carrying his kit down to the water. Despite these worries I followed them anyway and was soon on the water going for it.

The water was white with chop and spray and just getting to it was a struggle. Impi kept telling me he was just far too scared, Steve was saying he could barely hold on and Andy was pretty quiet! I jumped on and headed off towards the sandbank. Bearing away was scary and riding over the chop worse so, but I was up around 30 knots on my first run and it didn’t feel too bad. I didn’t make any attempts at a gybe, sailed back to where I started and had another go. This time I hit 36 knots again. Impi followed close behind me but had only managed a top speed of 30 knots so far. Once he’d heard that I’d got to 36 knots he left caution to the wind and went for a proper speed run and matched my 36 knots. Andy didn’t have a GPS so we don’t know how fast he went, but Steve only managed about 25 knots on his wave kit – No doubt he’ll be in the market for some speed kit soon!

None of us had many runs though as the conditions were just too hectic. Flatter water, more room or slightly less wind would have been ideal, but it was good fun anyway! I’m not really sure how I hung onto a 5.2m in those conditions but it didn’t feel too bad once I was actually up and sailing. Starting off and stopping was a different matter though!

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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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