Monday, April 26, 2010

2.5mile speed runs

Went to Brandon Bay on Saturday for the 3rd round of Irish Speed Champs.  In fact, it's the first one with wind so far this year, and other results so far being taken from the GPS speedsurfing website for this year's speeds.

The forecast looked like we would get good wind up the Fermoyle end of the bay, with SE and then SW winds forecast - meaning the wind should be howling off the mountains and giving good offshore conditions.

Sure enough, when I got there it was cross-off about 30 knots and super flat, with a port course.  No sooner than I could rig and get some breakfast in, the wind died a bit and swung more to the South.

It picked up again quick enough, and we got great sailing for a couple of hours.  The size of Brandon Bay meant that you could sail as far as you like to try and squeeze a few more knots out of the board.

Measured the longest run on Google Earth, and it's just over 2.5 miles in one run, starting at the very top of Fermoyle, and going almost all the way to Stradbally. The best gusts were at Gowlane, and this is where I got my peak speeds.

Spent the whole session on 6.2m and JP Speed 45, but the course was a bit square as the wind was south, so max was just over 36knots. Would have got better if the wind had gone fully to SW, meaning broader course, and probably more wind too.

Still, great to get out sailing in such a stunning location, and one that I have wave-sailing at for almost 24 years. First time I have ever got a speed board out here.

Keith had a great run down to Stradbally, but got caught out in dying wind to get back. Thats the problem.. sail 2.5 miles in one direction, you have to make sure there's wind to get back, or it's a long walk to your van.

I did the decent thing and went down and got him.

Forecast looks great for next few days, and warmer too. It was 19 degrees in Dublin today :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

friends gone by

It has been far too long since I have posted something on this blog, and if I'm entirely honest I don't really feel like it now, but I need to break the ice.

Those who know me even slightly, will know that we all lost a very good friend earlier this year - Alan Harris from Surfdock. Alan has been a massive part of my life for most of my windsurfing life, and I cannot express here what his loss means to me.

Tragically, another good friend Andrew Erban CZ-O, also left us earlier than his time on earth. I didn't know Andrew as well as Alan, but his loss is no less easy to take.

My main priority over the last couple of months has been to get on the water as much as possible... rather than talk about it, my only goal has been to do it - no pictures, no stress.. just get out there and sail.
I have traveled every corner of Ireland chasing conditions, from flat water speed-sessions to nuclear wave-sailing, and I'm glad to say slowly the fog is clearing. This blog has always been my diary of the sessions I enjoy, and I hope to have many more of them soon.

Hope to see you on the water somewhere soon.