Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's gone all purple

It's looks like it's going to be an interesting week ahead :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

warm and windyyyyyy photofest

With all the freezing weather over the start of this month, we were all pretty excited to see the forecast for mild temperatures in double figures, and wind speeds in the PURPLE range for last weekend !
With such strong winds for Saturday, I was dying to try out a speed spot in Wexford to see if it had record breaking potential.  We were greeted with winds in the 30-45 knot range.  Pretty windy... so time to rig the 5.5m and throw all the lead into my weight jacket !
The course was certainly flat, like this for the entire run - 1600m end to end.  Unfortunately it proved to be just too square on the course to go downwind enough to be "fast-fast".
As they say though:  "If you don't go... you won't know"  and it was still definitely worth it to go to try out this wind direction.. and now we are more prepared for the next time.
My good friend and Team-mate Noelle Doran came down to try and beat her personal records.  She has been multiple Irish Wave and Freestyle Champion, but injury forced her to stop competing in waves.  Speed-sailing in a straight line though... how hard can that be on the body?   Yep.. she is Speed Champion too !
At around 55kgs, Noelle is not exactly built like your 'typical' speed-sailor.  Neither am I for that matter and with 10kgs in my weight jacket -  I still was pretty maxed out on the 5.5m.  I have got to say I was impressed that Noelle still managed to hang on to her 5.0m in 40 knots, and she certainly showed some of the boys how it should be done !

Good to see Keith Gorman also made the trip, and dragged down Big Brendan Meaney, who should have been in Keith's house fitting a kitchen for him.  That's what I call a nice Boss !

Anyway... Saturday flat water mission done and dusted... so Sunday could only mean one thing.... time to hit the West Coast and find some waves :-)
I could tell you where this is... but I'd have to kill you !

Colin from Surfdock loving the conditions and sunshine lighting up his baby blue NP ATLAS.

Tibo getting one of the best sets of the day, and probably the prize for best picture too.  He lost his kit twice, and swam after it for 20 minutes, but still came in smiling.

Andreas was also on form, falling more and more in love with his JP Quad on every wave.
There's Tibo in the water watching Andreas and screaming his approval. If only we had given him a GoPro to take some shots from there!
Quads = turns like this...

This shot of Paula, sums up how we all felt after this session ! 
Hope you got out somewhere too :-)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Irish Speed Champ

With the start of a new year, the 2010 speed-season is now complete, I'm happy to report that I have taken the Irish Speed-sailing Championships title for 2010.
The years results are calculated from all rounds of competition held throughout the year, and also from our best 2010 results posted on  I had a clean slate of results, with bullets in every round!

Part of the trick to going fast is finding the best conditions (the flattest water with the strongest wind), and the Irish Championships runs on a rolling venue theme, where the event location is decided at the last minute to find the best wind/water conditions on the planned weekend.  This worked well this year, with wind strong enough for me to use my JP Speed 45 at each round.

Without a doubt though, the highlight of my speed year was smashing my own personal records during a trip to West Kirby in the UK, where I got a Max GPS speed of 47.17knots (54.3mph), and a 5x10 sec GPS average of 43.19knots.  This also gave me the Irish GPS records, now becoming the fastest Irish Sailor.

It has been an extremely difficult year, both for me personally and many Irish Windsurfers, as we continue to mourn the tragic loss of two legends in Irish windsurfing.  Alan Harris, founder of Surfdock and a very close personal friend was my biggest supporter for longer than I can remember.
Then very soon after setting my top speed, we also lost John Kenny, who to this day remains the Irish 500m Speed Record Holder.  In life JK always pushed me to go faster, and now in death his record remains the goal that I want to try and better. 

I would like to dedicate this Championship to the memory of Alan and John.
I am looking forward to 2011, and hope to improve my speeds, and spend a lot more time back in the waves this year too. 

pic by: Steven Cassidy.